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Japanese VC NordicNinja closes €200 million fund to back European startups tackling carbon footprint

NordicNinja, one of the largest Japanese VC in Europe, has announced a second €200 million fund to continue investing in climate tech and deeptech that create a more equitable, sustainable future. There are entire sectors NordicNinja believes still present huge opportunities for digitisation, while also helping meet the urgent need for sustainable solutions. NordicNinja invests in building companies that sit at this intersection and which are tackling the world’s biggest problems with a focus on climate tech, deeptech and digital society. 

Founded in 2019, NordicNinja is a team with a global mindset that unites world-class former founders, operators, and engineers turned investors from Northern Europe and Japan. With engineering backgrounds and long-standing experience in green energy, the partners have a wealth of experience that is rare amongst Series A investors in Europe. They have co-founded climate tech startups such as Planet OS and H2GO Power and have leading tech executive experience through building new businesses within leading firms such as ABB and McKinsey. 

NordicNinja is managed by Tomosaku Sohara, Shinichi Nikkuni, Marek Kiisa, Rainer Sternfeld, combining European founders and innovations with Japan’s hunger for digital innovation. All underpinned by the urgent need to build a more equitable, more sustainable future for all. The partners have also been significant angel investors, co-founding the Superangel fund, and managing a Japanese clean energy investment fund. Between them they have made more than 80 partner-level investments and over 20 angel investments globally.

Marek Kiisa, Managing Partner at NordicNinja, said: “We need to start solving the hard problems, and start solving them today if we’re to shift the dial in our fight against climate change. This is why sustainability and ESG underpin every deal, decision, and discussion to ensure we’re focused on taking action. Companies that we invested in are taking action today to deploy new solutions to reverse this trend – such as Einride, which enables a new freight system that is fully electric, autonomous, and able to decrease their clients’ emissions by up to 95%.”

NordicNinja believes that the global leaders needed to drive the transition to a more sustainable world are to be found in Northern Europe – thanks to the region’s legacy in digital innovation and billion-dollar company building. The team believes that giving these leaders access to Japan’s global networks of investors and companies, coupled with VC partners with a successful track record of building tech companies, will help catapult them to unlock their technology’s potential. The fund is the bridge that links these two regions at the crucial Series A stage: linking East and West to create responsible innovation and impact. In this way, NordicNinja is creating a new style of global-minded, responsible VC fund for Europe.

Shinichi Nikkuni, Managing Partner at NordicNinja, commented: At NordicNinja, we’re looking for founding teams creating companies that have the potential to become leaders in their fields, solving the most pressing global challenges such as climate change and healthcare crisis. This takes more than just capital. Collaboration on a global scale is at the heart of this fund, building bridges of knowledge, experience and ambition so that we can become greater than the sum of our parts and create a better world to live in for all.”

From its €101 million Fund I, NordicNinja invested in companies that transformed industries including Bolt, Einride, Veriff, Voi, Starship, ClimateView, Kognic, Mavenoid, Pactum, Varjo, DappRadar and Ready Player Me. To date, NordicNinja has made 20 investments, three of which have achieved unicorn status, with a handful showing similar potential. Half of the first fund’s investments are in mobility and transportation – an area with a massive carbon footprint, as well as inefficiency and poor user experience.

With Fund II, NordicNinja will continue to invest in early-stage founders driving impactful change in sustainability and the digital society. In Fund I, it invested in technologies from self-driving electric trucks to climate action toolkits for cities, from AI-driven identity verification to AI alignment platforms, from mixed reality headsets training astronauts for their Mars mission to end-to-end transparency of sensitive supply chains.

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Stefano De Marzo
Stefano De Marzo
Stefano De Marzo is the Head of News at EU-Startups. He has been extensively covering startups, venture capital and innovation ecosystems, including contributions to numerous publications such as Sifted, Entrepreneur and Forbes. Through his work as an editor and writer, he continues to shape the narrative surrounding the best stories of the tech world.

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