From Strategic Investments to Promoting Gender Diversity – A Look Back at Voima Ventures’s 2023 Milestones
As 2023 winds down, it’s a lovely moment for a bit of reflection – a chance to look back on a year that has been one road mark after the other. With an eye on innovation and a commitment to diversity, the year has been a tapestry of strategic growth and meaningful initiatives, all fuelled by the invaluable support of our community.
Early-Year Ventures Spark Growth
The year kicked off with a bang as we concluded our Fund II portfolio, marking the final strategic investments of this phase. Predominantly centred around deep tech university spinouts, Fund II’s closing chapter featured pivotal investments in Alba Health, Origin By Ocean, and SemiQon. These innovative companies not only diversified our portfolio but also embodied immense potential, setting the tone for Fund III. With a focus on impactful solutions for people, the planet, and industry, this trio epitomised the guiding theme of our next fund, heralding a new era of targeted and transformative investment strategies.
Fund III launch photo, from Left to Right, Jenny Engerfelt, Niko Elers, Kalle Ohman, Inka Mero, Pontus Stråhlman, Jussi Sainiemi
Summer Triumphs: New Fund and Investments
The summer months were marked by a significant achievement: the successful first close of Voima Ventures Fund III, with €90 million and included capital from the European Investment Fund (EIF), Finland’s Tesi, VTT, Sweden’s Saminvest, and a handful of pension funds, foundations and family offices. This was not just a financial milestone for us; it was a testament to the trust and belief placed in us by our investors. Fund III’s focus is on deeptech impact technologies which offer solutions in the realms of people, planet and industry. In the wake of this success, we made our first investment in ÄIO, which fittingly was also our first investments in the Baltics and reflects our broader geographic scope for 2024. Just before the Summer break, Cameron Murphy joined as the new marketing and communications manager.
A Year of Notable Follow-On Investments
As the year progressed, several of our portfolio companies, including EniferBio, Kuva Space, Paptic, and Solar Foods, secured substantial follow-on rounds. These investments were validation of the growth trajectory and potential of these ventures.
Kuva Space will use their latest funding round to launch their first fleet of commercial satellites.
Welcoming a New CFO and Championing Boardroom Diversity
In a significant addition to our team, we welcomed Linda Haapio as our new Chief Financial Officer. Her arrival marked a new chapter in our strategic financial planning, particularly in light of our recent fund closure and ongoing initiatives.
November brought another highlight with our Women to Boards initiative, which involved over 20 of our portfolio companies receiving introductions to top notch candidates with a wide range of expertises from all across the Nordics and Baltics. This initiative continued our pursuit of greater gender diversity in deeptech leadership, by aiming higher at the board level to surpass our 20% female benchmark.
Excerpt from our ESG report on portfolio board diversity
Looking Ahead: Expansion and New Opportunities
As we set our sights on 2024, we’re gearing up to expand our team in Sweden, a move poised to bring fresh perspectives and new opportunities. This expansion is not just about growth; it’s about enriching our team with diverse viewpoints and expertise.
Photo from Voima Ventures team-day
A Season of Gratitude and Anticipation
As the holiday season beckons, we extend our heartfelt thanks to you, our community, for being an integral part of our journey. It’s a one marked by successes, tribulations, and continuous learning. Here’s to embracing the upcoming year with the same impact, innovation, and commitment that defined 2023.
Rest well and stay tuned in the New Year as we continue to chart a course through the ever-evolving landscape of Deeptech investing.