Amsterdam-headquartered investment firm Rockstart has announced the launch of a new fund – Rockstart Emerging Tech. The fund will be used to support impact-driven innovation using tech to fuel positive change for society.
Impact-driven innovation is fueling positive change in our society, and, across Europe, it’s attracting investment and support from investors. Impact investment is now considered a strong investment for long-term societal gains as well as for investors’ bank accounts – impact goes hand in hand with profitability and prosperity – on a financial, environmental and societal level.
From greentech innovators creating sustainable energy solutions, foodtech innovation cleaning up our diets to the use of web3 and blockchain to create smart cities – Europe is heaving with impact-driven innovation and it’s an exciting phenomenon which has really picked up this year.
Now, aiming to help continue this trend and support purpose-led founders, Amsterdam-based investment firm Rockstart has announced it’s raising a new fund – Rockstart Emerging Tech.
Rune Theill, CEO and Co-Founder, Rockstart comments on the fund: “The Rockstart Emerging Tech fund will be investing in technology startups with a purpose-driven agenda to maximize impact in the future. Rockstart has the experience and track record of supporting tech founders to scale locally, regionally, and globally and providing access to market and capital partners at all stages. With Rockstart Emerging Tech, we are expanding on the strategy we set out in 2012.”
Rockstart Emerging Tech
Rockstart Emerging Tech will be used to support early-stage emerging technology startups and ideas that tackle urgent societal problems through tech-enabled solutions. It’s targeting a close of €30 million and plans to invest in up to 50 startups over the next ten years.
The fund is backed by Vækstfonden (Danish Sovereign Wealth Fund), the family office De Hoge Dennen, several tech entrepreneurs, Rockstart alumni founders, and other informal investors.
Lars Nordal Jensen, Early Stage Director, Vækstfonden: “Denmark is known as one of the most digitized countries in the world. This position was, among others, created by skilled entrepreneurs bringing new solutions to the market. Our investment in Rockstart Emerging Tech is a contribution to this exact agenda. Vækstfonden, the sovereign investment fund of Denmark, is looking at a clear opportunity to scale and develop more early-stage startups that help solve societal challenges through new digital solutions. Rockstart has showcased their worth in Denmark through the Rockstart AgriFood fund already, and we are happy to be part of yet another partnership.”
It’s Rockstart’s third fund, launched after the successful Rockstart AgriFood in 2019 (closed in 2021 at €22 million) and Rockstart Energy in 2020 (closed in 2022 at €27 million).
Promoting purpose-driven tech
Rockstart has established itself as one of Europe’s leading impact investors, empowering purpose-driven entrepreneurs and teams across three main verticals: energy, agrifood and emerging technologies. The firm sets itself apart by nurturing early-stage ventures with access to capital, market and expertise. It has offices in Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Bogota, supporting global tech development.
This new fund is focused primarily on emerging tech – as the name suggests. This means the segments of Industry 4.0 & Advanced Analytics, Smart Societies, Digital Health, Data Privacy/Security and general applications proposing solutions for positive change are most of interest. Specifically, the firm will invest in software startups innovating in ML/AI, Computer Vision, web3 & blockchain, IoT & Edge Computing, Biometrics, Geospatial tech, and Additive Manufacturing.
The first investments have already been identified and selected startups began the Rockstart accelerator program at the end of August. Not only will the program help the startups grow from MVP to scaling, but after the round, Rockstart continues to co-invest in portfolio companies – right up to Series B rounds. The firm, therefore, plays a role in nurturing tech development and remains involved as the companies scale into market leaders.
Michael Bjørnlund, Managing Partner Emerging Tech, Rockstart added: “There is a great need for talented and passionate startup teams to solve today’s important challenges. With the new Rockstart Emerging Tech fund, we expand the areas in which Rockstart can support such founders and teams in their endeavours to craft and scale businesses. We aim to establish close ties with the entrepreneurs we invest in – all the way from our pre-seed investment and the acceleration program and onwards to co-investments up to potential Series B rounds.
We are very proud of the investors backing us to launch this fund and of the continued trust organizations such as Vækstfonden and De Hoge Dennen placed in Rockstart enabling us to deliver on our mission.”