SIS Ventures, part of the Social Investment Scotland group, has raised £1 million to invest in its Impact First fund to high invest in ‘high impact’ early stage companies, with Chroma Ventures contributing.
Impact First launched its second round of fundraising in February 2022 with the aim of attracting up to £5 million to scale up its investment in early-stage businesses across Scotland which have the highest impact potential.
The Impact First fund provides an opportunity for investors to make tax-efficient financial returns alongside impact returns by investing equity into Scotland-based businesses where the social and environmental aims align to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
The investment by Chroma Ventures, along with £700,000 committed by other investors, means that the fund has now exceeded its minimum target and will proceed to first close over the next two months.
- SIS Ventures has already invested approximately £3.5 million into ten young businesses which offer high impact and high growth potential. Each business is focused upon delivering a ‘mission’ including:
- Providing earlier diagnosis for life-limiting diseases such as cancer (Dxcover)
- Protecting food security worldwide as well as our ecosystems (SOLASTA Bio)
- Tackling some of the world’s most serious online harm issues (Cyacomb, formerly Cyan Forensics),
- Encouraging the switch to Electric Vehicles through on-street charging points (Trojan Energy)
- Revolutionising the advertising industry in making it a force for good (Good-Loop)
Chroma Ventures was founded in 2021 by technology entrepreneurs Paddy Burns and van der Kuyl as the investment arm of videogame development studio, 4J Studios. The company has invested in a wide range of businesses across Scotland, including fellow developers Puny Astronaut, Stormcloud Games and Ant Workshop.
Chris van der Kuyl, principal of Chroma Ventures, told FutureScot:
Since our first investment in 2019, we’ve been impressed by SIS Ventures’ expertise and ability to identify opportunities in companies that will make a significant, positive difference in people’s lives. SIS Ventures’ ambition and approach complements our desire to invest in exceptional leaders and teams, which is why we have chosen to enhance our support through their Impact First fund.
This second Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) fundraise presents an opportunity for investors to support both existing Impact First investees to grow through follow-on funding rounds, as well as invest in new, early-stage businesses. The minimum investment sought from investors is £20,000, with each investor invested in at least eight businesses over a period of seven to ten years.
Jill Arnold, head of SIS Ventures, said:
Ever since launching Impact First, we have maintained an unwavering belief in the potential of an impact-focused fund for the investor community, which harnesses the power of business and innovation to help address society’s greatest challenges and needs. This cornerstone investment from Chroma Ventures reinforces that belief and illustrates the current demand among investors for mission-aligned opportunities.
We’re very excited about working with Chris and Paddy as lead investors in the fund and we hope this encourages others to come on board. Investor interest in the fund, since announcing the second fundraise earlier this year, has been very promising and we’re on track to reach our target over the next couple of months.