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In brief: Calls for VCs to back Women2Invest

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Published on: May 6 2022

EIT’s initiative aims to drive greater inclusion of women in venture capital. Plus, Turkey joins GSG’s network, investors back employee learning platform Rise Up, and Quadoro new sustainable energy fund

The Women2Invest initiative aims to bring more diversity to venture capital investment teams | Photo by Christina@ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has launched the Women2Invest initiative to drive greater inclusion of women from diverse professional backgrounds in venture capital.  

The initiative is calling on venture capital funds, corporate venture capital funds and corporate venturing units to sign up and bring diversity to their investment teams.  

The aim is to address the gender imbalance on investment teams, which the EIT says would bring “a wider perspective of society, innovation impact and an unbiased view on start-ups from underrepresented communities”, and offer participants a paid internship or job with one of the investors sponsoring the initiative.   

Women2Invest is open to women with science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics backgrounds with little or no prior investment knowledge. It is being run as an eight-week online course, starting mid-October, and offers participants access to lectures, practitioners’ experience, simulation of investment processes and group work. Registration for the course opened to female applicants this month.  

Investors are asked to commit to offering a paid internship or temporary position as long as they identify suitable candidates within the pool. 

Women2Invest is being supported by Diversity VC Iberia, a non-profit seeking to increase diversity in the venture industry.   

Turkey joins GSG’s network 

Turkey is the most recent country to join the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment’s (GSG) National Advisory Board (NAB) network of countries. 

GSG’s goal is to advance policy to accelerate impact investment and the sharing of knowledge through its NABs. The addition of Turkey brings the network to 35 member countries, in addition to the EU, and follows the inclusion of an NAB in Nigeria in December 2021. 

Turkey’s Impact Investing Advisory Board (EYDK) brings together 38 public, private and non-profit institutions and will focus on advocating for and mapping impact investing across the country, building partnerships, sharing impact information and integrating the local impact ecosystem into GSG’s wider impact community. 

GSG says a further 30 NABs are currently under development, many of which are in lower and lower-middle-income countries around the world. 

Employee learning software platform Rise Up raises €30m 

Rise Up, the French employee learning software platform, has raised €30m in its second fundraising round.   

Investors include Connected Capital, a Dutch investor, MAIF Avenir, a French venture capital firm and Impact Partners, a European impact investment platform and the company’s first shareholders.  

Rise Up, which was founded in 2014, is a blended learning platform aimed at trainers, administrators, and learners, mixing e-learning with face-to-face and mobile learning. It currently has 400 customers and 1 million active learners in 60 countries.  

Rise Up says it also wants to have a positive social impact on local communities by giving access to its platform to charitable organisations and by improving youth employment through apprenticeships and professional immersion. 

Previous fund raising efforts raised less than €5m. The Covid-19 pandemic however, has provided a boost to hybrid and adaptive learning and the European learning and development market is expected to grow three to five per cent annually by 2025.    

Rise Up says it will use this second round of investment funding to advance the company’s European growth, focusing on expanding its commercial organization as well as its product suite. 

Quadoro Sustainable Energy fund launches in Germany 

Asset management and sustainable energy infrastructure specialists Quadoro and aream have partnered to launch the Quadoro Sustainable Energy open-ended impact fund.  

The fund will invest in funds and companies focusing on renewable energy generation, transportation and storage of heat, gas and electricity, as well as on renewable energy infrastructure.  

The fund managers will target European companies and projects, with preference given to projects of valued at between €5m and €60m. Up to 80% of the fund will be invested in the solar photovoltaic and wind sectors, and the remaining 20% dedicated to other renewable energy technologies such as energy storage.  

The fund’s aims to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy in line with the EU’s targets to cut carbon emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels and Germany’s own goals to reach net zero by 2045.