Venture capital firm of the year: Bethnal Green Ventures

Targeting early stage investments in 'tech for good' companies Bethnal Green Ventures (BGV) invests in founders that use technology to create positive impact at scale.Paul Miller

With an active portfolio of 78 companies that all use technology to try and contribute to a sustainable planet, a better society and healthy lives, BGV's portfolio has raised £97.5 million ($134.9 million) as of December 2020. The year also saw a dramatic increase in portfolio revenues, which grew 57% to £46 million.

"The past year has truly highlighted the fragility of many social and environmental systems, proving the need, and opportunity, for better solutions to real problems," said Paul Miller, CEO and managing partner of BGV. "Investing in impact-driven companies is undoubtedly the future of venture capital. BGV is delighted to have been recognised by the 2021 Impact Awards for our work leading this sector."

BGV has also put diversity at the centre of its portfolio this year and is the first European venture capital firm to share extensive data on the diversity of its portfolio founders in its Impact + Learning Report 2020. From survey data BGV reported that almost half of its portfolio founders identify as women, 37% of respondents come from an ethnic minority background and 15.9% identify as LGBTQIA. The firm plans to continue to track this diversity data next year to initiate further support for underrepresented founders and communicate the progress openly and transparently.

The firm's portfolio certainly think it has had a positive impact on their activities, with 34% of its portfolio companies believing that their product or service would not have existed today without BGV. While 50% state they would not be as far along in taking their product to market without BGV.