About four years ago, social impact organization Norrsken Foundation launched a small program investing around €30 million in capital it had received from its wealthy patron, Klarna co-founder Niklas Adalberth.
Now, that initiative has become its own impact investment firm, Norrsken VC and, according to people familiar with the firm, is about to close on its first independent investment vehicle — a €125 million ($149) fund focused on investing in startups that are, as its website suggests, “solving the world’s biggest problems.”
Norrsken VC did not respond for a request for comment about the firm’s fundraising plans.
Already, the young firm has invested in companies that would be standouts among any venture capital portfolio. Norrsken VC is one of the early backers behind Northvolt, which just received a $14 billion order for its batteries for electric vehicles from Volkswagen.
Electrification is actually a big theme for the early-stage firm, which counts the electric plane technology developer, Heart Aerospace, and autonomous electric vehicle developer Einride, and the battery monitoring and data management startup, Nortical, among its other portfolio companies.
Einride scored another huge coup recently. TechCrunch reported that the company was close to closing on $75 million in new funding even as it explored a potential SPAC for its business.
Indeed, Norrsken Foundation’s work in investing presaged a surge in climate and sustainability-focused activity from both venture investors, public markets and entrepreneurs looking at how to aid in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable resources and other zero carbon sources of energy.
That thesis on energy consumption extends to other areas of the firm’s portfolio, including companies like the energy efficient data center designer and technology developer, Submer.
If electrification and efficiency are one area of focus in the climate fight, Norrsken has also made moves to combat waste and improve efficiency in the food chain, as well. It’s probably the largest area of focus for the firm’s current portfolio outside of electrification, and there appear to be some early winners emerging in that category.
Those range from startups focused on agriculture like WeFarm and Ignitia, to consumer waste in the food industry through investments in Olio, Matsmart and Whywaste.
Taken together the climate and sustainability thesis has been the largest and most opportune investment target, but healthcare and wellness are also within the firm’s investment mandate. Startups like Winningtemp are an interesting indication of the firm’s thesis. That startup provides ways to monitor and support employees’ mental health.
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