Eka Ventures closes it $95M fund

SaaS News -Eka-Ventures-closes-$95M-Impact-VC-fund-for-sustainable-consumption,-healthcare-and-society(source: SaaS Industry)
At a Glance

Eka Ventures, a UK-based venture capital firm, has completed its $95 million (£68 million) fund. Eka’s goal is to invest in consumer technology firms that promote sustainable consumption, consumer health, and the “inclusive economy.” Eka also has the backing of 24 entrepreneurs, 12 of whom were previously supported by Eka Ventures, either through a fund or directly.

Eka Ventures, an early-stage UK-based venture capital firm, has now closed its $95 million (approx £68 million) fund. Eka Ventures invests in consumer technology companies that help people live more sustainably.

British Business Bank, BSC, Isomer, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation, Planet First Partners, Draper Esprit, Snowball, and others are among the fund’s investors. It also claims to support 24 entrepreneurs, 12 of whom are founders that the Eka partners had previously sponsored either through a fund or individually.

The goal of Eka is to invest in consumer technology businesses that are focused on sustainable consumption, consumer healthcare, and the “inclusive economy.” The fund will focus on the United Kingdom, with each purchase costing between £500,000 (approx. USD 0.6 million) and £3 million (approx. USD 4.1 million).

We only invest in companies where we see a clear impact directly connected to the product or service that they sell. So as they grow, the impact grows with the company. We won’t invest in companies where we don’t see that. We’ve said to all of our investors that we will only invest in companies where that is delivered. When we’re assessing companies, we look for founder alignment, so understanding how the founders are thinking about building their company and the impact that’s delivered through the products and services. Once we’ve gone through that process of alignment and assessment, we then measure that impact over time. We will also co-invest with investors that don’t have a specific impact focus on their fund.

Jon Coker, a general partner of Eka

We use a framework called the Impact Management Project framework, which is trying to create an industry standard around the measurement of impact in the venture. It looks at different dimensions to identify the specific impact that the company you’re investing in is creating. When you’re backing really early-stage companies, you can measure the impact that their product is currently having but you also want to measure progress against projects that will deliver future impact. We have a number of impact-focused LPs in the fund who have done a lot of work with us actually on helping us think about this framework.

Jon Coker, a general partner of Eka

One of our first investments was Urban Jungle insurance. This is an example where we think about it as being inclusive, as they saw a big opportunity to try and serve the segment that has historically been underserved. They do that through underwriting using behavioral characteristics rather than demographic characteristics, which is how the incumbent industry does it. This excludes a lot of the customers. They’re now launching a social housing-specific product because they had so many testimonials from social housing.

Camilla Dolan, a general partner of Eka

She added that when it comes to partnering with businesses, they are clear about their aim for growth, and they will do everything they can to assist the entrepreneurs they work within achieving their ambitions. They are seeking entrepreneurs that, like Tesla, have single-handedly moved the electric car sector ahead by raising the bar for impact-driven innovation and focusing on fundamentally altering or inventing a category. Eka was created to support businesses with that degree of ambition, she said.

Jon and Camilla are two of the best investors a founder could possibly hope for. They supported Gousto with our Series A back in 2013 and have been cheerleaders ever since. Their new venture, Eka, is tightly aligned with our own philosophy because of their focus on sustainability. Much like them, we believe in the power of people to drive change.

Timo Boldt, the founder of Gousto

The Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds program is a key tool in helping to develop and maintain an effective venture capital provision in the UK, lowering the barriers to entry for emerging fund managers and for those targeting less well-served areas of the market. Our commitment of £36 million to Eka Ventures will enable them to support new and growing sustainable consumer technology businesses in the UK.

Ken Cooper, managing director, Venture Solutions, British Business Bank
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