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Germany: EIF invests in impact-driven venture capital fund Revent

  •  
    Date: 26 August 2021
  • The new venture capital fund Revent Venture invests in startups that address environmental and societal challenges.
  • The EIF provides €20 million, backed largely by the European Recovery Programme.

The European Investment Fund (EIF) has committed €20 million to the new Berlin-based Revent Venture Fund. Revent invests across Europe in startups that address environmental and societal challenges. Earlier than originally planned, Revent has now done another close already above the original target fund volume of €50 million and has adapted the hard-cap of the fund to €60 million. 

The EIF, an affiliate of the European Investment Bank (EIB), will draw €15 million of its €20 million commitment from the European Recovery Programme (ERP, formerly Marshall Plan). With Germany today lagging behind with funds focused on social and environmental impact, this project represents a chance to strengthen and increase this venture capital segment. 

Impact investments are private capital investments that go beyond a pure focus on risk and return and that aim to bring about positive social or ecological change.

Revent belongs to a new generation of impact venture capital funds that believe that positive impact will drive strong financial performance, ultimately outperforming the market. For this reason, Revent defines explicit impact goals for its portfolio companies that are measured alongside other operational and financial milestones. Specifically, Revent plans to improve the lives of 1 million people and avert 5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, which is the equivalent of investing the total fund volume in nature-based offsetting projects. As a venture capital fund, Revent primarily invests in software and data companies that are driving a systemic change for the planet and society.

The fund has already invested in four startups:

  • Sylvera: The London based AI developer will monitor carbon offsetting projects for clients like airlines wanting to make sure that their carbon offsetting projects — for which passengers pay a premium — fulfil promises like planting trees in developing countries. Sylvera does this by analysing satellite pictures and other data.
  • Electricity Map in Denmark: The startup provides its clients with the real carbon footprint of the electricity they use. For example, car manufacturers can oversee how green electric cars today really are, such as when they are charged at night or at times when there is no wind blowing. Volkswagen Chairman of the board of management Herbert Diess recently pointed out how important Electricity Map’s service is in the transition towards green energy.
  • Tomorrow Bank in Hamburg: Via an app, this mobile bank offers its environmentally aware clients the opportunity to support reforestation projects with each bank transaction, because Tomorrow Bank invests part of the transaction fees in ecological projects.
  • Net Purpose: The company provides an impact data stream for asset managers to understand the quantitative net impact of their portfolio. It does this by extracting data on environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals from the business reports of listed companies to make ESG engagement comparable. The company aims to become the “Bloomberg terminal of impact data.”

Revent was initiated by German entrepreneur Benjamin Otto and the Otto Group in Hamburg in September 2020. Since then, other investors from prominent families like Heraeus and Hymer as well as prominent tech founders like Sascha Konietzke (Contentful), Maximilian Tayenthal (N26) and Verena Pausder (Fox&Sheep) have joined the Revent investor community.  

Revent’s founding partners, Otto Birnbaum and Dr Lauren Lentz, bring a unique mix of experience in early-stage investing, impact measurement and entrepreneurship. Otto Birnbaum is an experienced venture capital investor who built and led the seed investment practice at Partech in Germany. Dr Lauren Lentz, who studied at Yale, Harvard and Oxford and worked for McKinsey and USAID, is an expert in impact measurement. With a team of four, where half are women and covering three nationalities, Revent is proud of its diversity.  

“We are proud to be supporting this unique fund that meets an urgent demand,” said EIF Chief Executive Alain Godard. The EIF believes in the potential of impact investment, and we are delighted that we are partnering with this new impact-driven fund. This agreement will help to strengthen the German ecosystem for ecological and societal investment that is underdeveloped to date.”

Founding Partner Dr Lauren Lentz said: “We deeply appreciate the trust of the EIF as one of the most experienced investors in Europe. Their commitment to the fund underlines our shared belief that there will be standout European companies whose products make a significant, positive difference for the climate and society at large.” Founding Partner Otto Birnbaum added: “We’re on a mission to establish a new paradigm in which positive impact will drive financial returns. Together with our investors, we are confident that we will accelerate the impact tech ecosystem in Germany and beyond.”

Background information:

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses by helping them to access finance. The EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments, which specifically target this market segment. In this role, the EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment.

Revent is an early-stage venture capital fund headquartered in Berlin. Founded in 2020, the firm invests across Europe in mission-driven founders using technology to drive systemic change across the main investment areas of climate, healthcare and economic empowerment. The Revent team believes that the best companies of tomorrow will be built around the largest environmental and societal problems of today. The team around founding partners Dr Lauren Lentz and Otto Birnbaum is diverse in gender and nationality (50% women, three nationalities) and unique in background, with venture capital, impact measurement and entrepreneurship in their DNA.

Press contacts:

EIF:
Donata Riedel, d.riedel@eib.org, tel.: +49 30 590047 912, mobile: +49 151 1465 9021
Website: www.eif.org - Press Office: www.eib.org/press +352 4379 21000, press@eib.org
Follow us on Twitter @eif_eu

Revent:
Marie Fabiunke, marie@revent.vc, mobile: +49 174 2340 447
Website / Twitter / Linkedin / Medium

 

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