OSLO, Norway & NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Capricorn Investment Group makes their first move into the Nordic venture space with their investment in Norselab, an Oslo-based European impact investment manager for private capital.
“With their thoughtful approach to innovative impact investments, Norselab stands out as an ideal partner to expand our presence into the Nordics and Europe. We are thrilled to help scale their impact investment platform,” says Michaela Edwards, Partner at Capricorn Investment Group.
Edwards is the partner in charge of the investment into Norselab. The deal, offering Capricorn’s Sustainable Investment Fund a 20% stake in Norselab, relied heavily on their belief in the team and the structure that they have built.
“The team behind Norselab has an outstanding track record in building and scaling tech companies, in addition to a clear ambition to build a larger ecosystem of funds. These were key factors weighing in on our investment decision,” adds Edwards.
Both firms share the belief that impact investments will offer the best opportunities over the coming decades. Through investment into companies that target industries in need of transformation, Norselab aims to ignite disruption, and to create potential for solid returns and massive impact.
Unexplored opportunities in the Nordics
Capricorn’s investment in Norselab marks its first, strategic move into the Nordics. According to Edwards, the Nordics are still unexplored territory from a global perspective, and offer plentiful opportunities for both impact and high returns. She highlights that Norway, with its ongoing green shift and hunger for innovation, offers a great location from which Norselab can expand to Europe.
Building system value
Norselab launched its first impact-focused venture fund, Meaningful Equity I, in 2020. On the back of a solid tailwind in terms of market trends and deal flow, the impact investor is expanding its platform with several new funds. This means a significant upscaling of the organization where creating system value through knowledge sharing is the key to accelerate growth and value creation across the ecosystem.
“Our partnership with Capricorn Investment Group will connect us with their globally leading impact investment ecosystem. Being part of their impact funds also means that our portfolio companies will gain greater access to international resources, co-investors and talents,” says Yngve Tvedt, Norselab Founder and Chief Investment Officer.
Uncompromising on impact
Tvedt adds that Capricorn’s solid impact profile was decisive for Norselab’s decision to bring on board a larger capital partner.
“Impact is at the heart of our investment philosophy, and core to the products and services of the companies we invest in. We want to build Norselab into a leading European impact investment platform, and believe Capricorn is a match made in heaven for scaling Norselab while staying true to our fundamental DNA,” says Tvedt.
With the Sustainable Investment Fund, Capricorn Investment Group aims to back purpose-built investment managers with an authentic vision around impact.
“We’re not in business to create incremental change, we are aiming to drive systemic change,” comments Edwards.
A fit-for-scale platform
Norselab’s CEO, Erik Syvertsen, explains how they created an international fund platform for venture investments with the building blocks that most market participants would recognize from larger institutional structures.
“As we established our first fund, we knew that a robust infrastructure with scalability would be essential if we were to have international ambitions both in terms of deal flow and the ability to attract capital. Capricorn recognized the value in the ecosystem we are aiming to build in and around Norselab. It’s a privilege for us to work with a capital partner that is aligned with our values and ambitions across the board,” says Syvertsen.
Norwegian capital partners joining the party
Two significant Norwegian capital partners are also part of the deal. Long-term Norselab investor Ness, Risan & Partners, invests in the impact investment platform to offer Norselab’s attractive impact products to their large Nordic customer base. Joakim Lehmkuhl is also among the new capital partners. His connection to international investor groups will give the Norselab team solid traction to scale its platform out of Norway.
Capricorn is one of the largest mission-aligned firms in the world, and has since its inception in 2000 grown to manage more than $10 billion in multi-asset classes for foundations and institutional investors, through their range of impact-focused fund products. Their Sustainable Investors Fund (SIF) is a private equity partnership whose investment objective is to create significant value through ownership and early stage investment in public and private asset managers who incorporate sustainability as a key driver of investment returns.
The firm has offices in New York City and Palo Alto, and was born from a belief that sustainable investment practices can enhance risk-adjusted returns. Underlying this investment approach is a deep desire to demonstrate the huge investment potential that resides in breakthrough commercial solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.
Norselab is a leading impact investment platform based out of Oslo, Norway. With an uncompromising focus on net positive impact, Norselab invests in fast-growing, meaningful companies that ignite radical changes in traditional industries.
Norselab established their internationally regulated fund structure in 2020, and closed their first venture fund, Norselab Meaningful Equity I, in 2021. Norselab is currently scaling up its activities, and plans to launch several new funds in 2022, all with impact at their core.
About Ness, Risan & Partners
Ness, Risan & Partners AS (NRP) is an independent and privately-owned investment firm. Its clients include family offices, private investors, investment companies, foundations, trusts and institutional investors. NRP offers direct investment and fund solutions within the real estate, shipping and offshore sectors. The company was founded in 2000 by Christian Ness and Ragnvald Risan, and has more than 70 employees and an AUM of more than $ 1Billion.
Interviews on request.