UK’s largest impact investment VC fund closes

Posted on July 20, 2021 by Jonathan Symcox

Eka

Eka Ventures has closed a £68 million fund, making it the largest impact-driven early stage venture capital fund focused on the UK.  

Investors in the fund include British Business Bank, BSC, Isomer, Guys and St Thomas Foundation, Planet First Partners, Draper Esprit, Snowball and others, including 24 entrepreneurs, 12 of whom are founders the Eka partners have previously backed. 

Eka was founded on the belief that the most successful businesses of the next generation will be built to solve a clear social or environmental challenge and is integrating impact investing into mainstream venture capital. 

Eka will invest in consumer technology companies focused on redefining business systems to be more sustainable, healthy and inclusive. This is reflected in Eka’s three investment themes: sustainable consumption, consumer healthcare, and the inclusive economy.  

The fund will focus on the UK, invest early and lead rounds, making investments between £500k-£3m. 

Eka was founded by Jon Coker, Camilla Dolan and Andrew Richardson, who have a combined 30+ years of experience working in venture capital, and has backed some of the biggest and most exciting consumer tech companies of the last 10 years, including Gousto, Bloom & Wild, Peak and Elder. 

“Over the next 20 years the effect our old business systems have on our health and climate is going to become increasingly and undeniably apparent,” said Coker.  

“At the same time the power of our new technologies to meet, shape and change these old businesses systems can be realised in mainstream adoption.  

“The combination of these two dynamics will create an environment of unparalleled opportunity for entrepreneurs to build companies of extraordinary value that positively shape the world.  

“These are the entrepreneurs we set up Eka to back.” 

Dolan added: “When it comes to working with companies, we are clear in our desire for scale, and we will do everything in our power to help the founders we work with achieve their ambitious goals. 

“We are looking for entrepreneurs who set the bar for impact driven innovation high and who are focused on fundamentally changing or creating a category, in the same way Tesla has single-handedly propelled the electric vehicle industry forward.  

“We set Eka up to back companies with that level of ambition.” 

Timo Boldt, founder of Gousto, said: “Jon and Camilla are two of the best investors a founder could possibly hope for. They supported Gousto with our Series A back in 2013 and have been cheerleaders ever since.  

“Their new venture, Eka, is tightly aligned with our own philosophy because of their focus on sustainability. Much like them, we believe in the power of people to drive change.” 

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