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Social Impact Ventures attracts EIF funding

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Social Impact Ventures NL (Social IV), the management company for Social Impact Venture Fund I (Fund I), has closed with EUR19 million in new commitments which came from the European Investment Fund (through the Social Impact Accelerator) and non-institutional investors. 

Social IV previously had a first closing of Fund I in July 2015 at EUR11 million and now has a total EUR30 million capital under management to provide growth equity to social entrepreneurs. The final closing of this fund is expected July 2016.
 
Fund I is a Netherlands-based growth investment fund in the form of a cooperative: its investors are therefore members. The initial group of early members are families, high net worth individuals and foundations.
 
Fund I’s new members include the European Investment Fund (through the Social Impact Accelerator) and several new non-institutional investors. The firm writes that the last few years have seen the rise of the social entrepreneur and the category of social impact investing is developing rapidly. “Social entrepreneurs focus their business on providing important societal solutions for issues such as civic engagement, health, education, economic development and sustainable economies.”
 
Since being founded in 2014, Social IV has been an early mover in empowering social entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and their impact which are, the firm believes, inextricably aligned.
 
“Social IV recognised early on that there is strong demand from social entrepreneurs for growth capital to scale their business: such entrepreneurs are looking for values-aligned investors who also offer guidance and support. Social IV has developed a multi-disciplinary team and an investment strategy to establish itself as the largest independent Netherlands-based social impact investor providing capital and venture assistance,” the firm writes.
 
 “Where so many investors are talking about social impact investing, we are extremely excited to have attracted a group of deeply committed non-institutional  investors and now also a highly professional international investor like EIF”, says Helmer Schukken, Partner at Social IV. “Based on the clear link between our vision of the opportunities for social entrepreneurs and our individual track records as company operators and investors, we were able to secure these new commitments, raising our total capital under management to EUR3 million.”
 
Social IV previously invested in companies such as Taxi Electric, a fast-growing 100 per cent electric vehicle taxi company that mostly employs formerly long term unemployed people aged 50 and over; and Afval Loont, an innovative waste collection company that pays people to separate their waste and bring it to Afval Loont shops.
 
 
 
Chief Executive of the European Investment Fund, Pierluigi Gilibert says: “I am very pleased that we are backing the first independent social impact fund in the Netherlands. Social IV’s investments will be crucial in helping companies scale social impact. Supporting the venture capital market in the Netherlands and across Europe by catalysing additional investors, through an increased number of active social impact Funds, provides a unique and promising opportunity for the next generation of social entrepreneurs. EIF is convinced that with the closing of Social IV Fund I, Social IV has the right strategy and the capital to actively support this next generation of social impact companies.”
 
The background to Social IV Fund I is that it is the first independent social impact venture fund in the Netherlands, launched in 2015 and currently with committed capital of EUR30 million. Fund I provides growth capital and active support to social enterprises that offer commercial solutions for social and/or environmental challenges. The fund focuses on the following social impact themes:  Cleantech, Bio Systems, Economic Development, Civic Engagement, Health & Wellbeing, Education.
 
Fund I typically invest EUR0.5-3.0 million in businesses with a significant, positive, measurable and scalable impact on people or planet, where the business and the incentives are fully aligned with the impact. The firm writes: “We seek outstanding entrepreneurs with relentless pursuit of mission who run businesses with some sales track record and clear profitability perspectives. We have an investment team with a strong track record and a combined 40+ years of international investment and company operating experience.
 
“Social IV is further differentiated in that it provides active venture assistance to its portfolio companies on matters such as strategy development, marketing, operations and recruitment. We work together with strategic partners such as McKinsey & Co., PwC and Van Doorne to provide top-notch support to entrepreneurs.”

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