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Unconventional Ventures hits second close of €30m fund to back diverse founding teams

The Denmark-founded impact venture capital firm is looking to invest in fintech, education, health and climate startups

Nora Bavey and Thea Messel

Nora Bavey and Thea Messel/Unconventional Ventures

Tackling tech’s diversity issue head-on, impact venture capital firm Unconventional Ventures has just hit the second close of its €30m fund investing solely in diverse founding teams and founders

Co-founded by general partners Thea Messel and Nora Bavey in 2018, the firm has invested in nine impact technology companies since the first close of the fund last year.

The second close is set to enable continued pre-seed and seed investments across Europe, specifically focusing on fintech, climate, health and education.

“From the very beginning, it has been our unwavering belief that the fusion of diversity and sustainability represents the most significant investment opportunity,” Messel said.

“With this fund, we now have the financial power to further support the remarkable founders we've encountered. They are the visionaries behind companies dedicated to forging a brighter future for all of us.”

Since the first close, the company has invested in nine companies across the impact technology space, including London-based climate risk data provider Climate X, which veers towards fintech, assessing how climate change impacts investments.

“There are numerous opportunities to tackle inequalities and even climate challenges through innovative fintech solutions,” Bavey told AltFi.

“The possibilities to do good with fintech are endless and it’s the companies that realise this that we are interested in as a VC firm,” she added.

Specifically investing in founders identifying as women, people of colour, immigrants and/or LGBTQ+, Unconventional has also invested in edtech company SciFree and climate tech Ocean Oasis alongside launching a European accelerator programme for diverse founders.

“Celebrating our second close, we're on cloud nine with nine investments in a year — a testament to our unwavering commitment to identifying and fueling innovation. With each investment, we're not just shaping the future; we're actively building it,” Bavey said.

“We're thrilled to showcase our impressive roster of investors, ranging from respected institutional players to globally renowned VC firms and esteemed family offices. Their trust in us empowers our mission to champion the trailblazers of the impact technology sector.”

LPs that invested in the fund include Atomico, Export and Investment Fund of Denmark (EIFO) and Investinor, an evergreen investment company funded by the Norwegian government.

New LPs, including The Case For Her, a Stockholm-based company specialising in investments in women’s health issues, joined for the second close.

Article updated on 7 September 2023 to include additional quote to AltFi from Unconventional Ventures

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