Venture capital firm of the year: Inventures Investment Partners

Channels: IMPACT

Companies: Inventures Investment Partners

Brussels-based Inventures Investment Partners is a relatively small firm with big ambitions. It manages two venture capital funds: The €15 million ($18 million) Inventures I, which is closed for new investments and Inventures II, which currently manages €35 million and is aiming for €50 million.

Its aim is simple: to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and it believes that mobilising capital for social impact by investing in entrepreneurs is key.

Inventures II invests between €500,000 and €2 million in innovative European SMEs that are addressing at least one of the SDGs. Co-investments are encouraged and, since 2018, the fund claims to have mobilised an average of €9.1 for every euro invested in SDG3 (Good Health and Wellbeing); €7.2 for each euro in SDG4 (Quality Education); and €5.9 for each euro in SDG12 (Responsible Production and Consumption).

Its financial performance has also been strong, with 38% of portfolio companies experiencing growth of more than 250%, and 63% seeing growth above 20%.

The firm aims to integrate impact at every stage of the investment process. For example, at the sourcing stage, it works with potential entrepreneurs to identify the most relevant SDGs and ensure alignment with them.

During due diligence, impact is analysed through a proprietary scorecard based on industry best practice and the impact score is reported alongside financial and business analytics in the final memo presented to the investment committee.

Before committing to an investment, the entrepreneurs are required to adapt their articles of incorporation to include a commitment to impact. Subsequently, Inventures works closely with investee companies to decide how to take advantage of impact opportunities (e.g. through brand management and employee engagement) and makes annual checks to evaluate the impact goals and plan.

While Inventures II has not yet sold out of any of its investments, it says it is committed to orchestrating responsible exits and ensuring that the buyer is also committed to maintaining impact. It adds that its exits are planned at a "patient and reasonable" timescale of between eight and 10 years.