We are delighted to share this, the latest edition of our newsletter, with you and just in time for the holiday season!
2023 heralded many milestones for both the Lightrock platform and portfolio. We expanded into a new asset class, opened a new office in the Netherlands (our first in the EU!), both our team and portfolio surpassed 100 members, and, in an unexpected honour, Lightrock was named the Impact Investor of the Year at the prestigious Real Deals ESG Awards!
Looking back on the year, we certainly have a lot to be grateful for, especially against a global back drop in which uncertainty and strife have, unfortunately, increased. Recognising that our progress would not have been possible without the kind support of our friends and partners in the ecosystem and beyond, we wanted to express our gratitude and thanks for your continued support of us and our mission to deploy capital into impactful companies endeavouring to build a better future.
In this end of year newsletter, we are pleased to share some updates from our portfolio, including news of the portfolio’s newest addition; some of our recent organisational developments, and the associated press coverage; as well as some details of our ecosystem engagement.
We trust these updates will be both informative and of interest as the year draws to a close.
With our very best wishes for the year ahead,
The Global Lightrock Team
Lightrock platform portfolio companies were founded to tackle the world’s biggest challenges. Check out some examples of their recent progress below:
M-KOPA, a fintech platform providing financial services to the underbanked, has expanded its flexible digital financing model to Ghana, following a successful pilot. M-KOPA now operates across Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda Ghana, and is planning expanding into South Africa.
Copia Global, a leading ecommerce and fintech platform for African mass market consumers, has announced a strategic partnership with Visa to provide digital financial services to middle to low-income consumers in Kenya.
Following mutually beneficial partnerships, the Lightrock platform exited two Norwegian companies dedicated to building a more sustainable future: Kiona, a leading SaaS company that aims to make buildings part of the solution to climate change, and NG Group, a company with the goal to accelerate society’s shift to an efficient circular economy.
Satispay, the independent payment network connecting consumers and merchants in Italy, shines as one of Europe's fastest-growing fintechs, according to Sifted. Despite challenging macro conditions, the company’s headcount grew by an incredible 86%.
Waycool, one of India’s largest food and agritech company, has formed a strategic alliance with Morocco-based YoLa Fresh. This alliance has seen Waycool expand its operations to Africa.
Diabetes care specialist Beat-O announced that it was launching physical touchpoints in several micro-markets, which will enable the company to increase the care options to patients in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Odisha.
Lightrock welcomed Brazilian renewable thermal energy company, ComBio Energia, to its portfolio. ComBio’s mission is to promote sustainable biomass as an alternative to fossil fuels ingenerating steam for industrial applications across sectors, from food manufacturing to mining. Business Insider had the full story here.
Betterfly, the purpose-driven benefits platform, launched a new insurance for employees that improves customer coverage and rewards employees for making healthy lifestyle choices, such as attending health check ups and scanning appointments.
The entire team was ecstatic to learn that a panel of industry judges had named Lightrock the Impact Investor of the Year at the prestigious Real Deals ESG Awards! This recognition is testament to the exceptional efforts and dedication of the entire team. Our Managing Partner & CEO, Pal Erik Sjatil, sat down with Real Deals to reflect on Lightrock’s progress and this recent win.
Lightrock recently welcomed the exceptional investor, Kathleen Bacon, to its Board of Directors. Kathleen joins the team with extensive private markets investing experience, gained as part of a successful and ongoing career at HabourVest Partners. Lightrock’s ranks were also bolstered by the arrival of Suzanne DiBianca, Chief Impact Officer at Salesforce, who joins as a Senior Advisor. Suzanne was recently recognised by TIME as one of the world’s most influential leaders driving business to real climate action.
Lightrock Partner, Umur Hursever, shared some insights and commentary with the leading impact investing industry publication, New Private Markets, on the subjects of the fundraising environment and how impact investors are looking at developments in the area of generative artificial intelligence.
Co-hosting the Slush Climate Summit
This year in Helsinki, Finland, Lightrock co-hosted the Slush Climate Summit, the only official side event dedicated to climate tech and sustainability, with our friends at Lightspeed, Energy Impact Partners, and Transition. Our very own Christopher Steinau did a super job onstage moderating a founder and investor panel focused on successfully scaling climate techs.
Making an Impact at Oslo Innovation Week
The team was pleased to be back in Norway and to contribute to this conference’s inaugural impact day! Head of Impact Dr Marc Moser joined a panel discussion featuring colleagues from Capricorn Investment Group, GIIN, and Norselab, which looked at how the UNSDGs have catalysed transformation in our industry.
Sharing a stage with LGT Private Banking
It was a terrific privilege for Lightrock to be featured at a series of conferences organised across Asia by LGT Private Banking. These events, focused on alternative assets, are designed to connect advisors and investors with n representatives of firms at the forefront of their respective fields. We thoroughly enjoyed discussing impact-centred solutions with this future-focused audience.
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This newsletter contains selected information about Lightrock LLP and its affiliates (“Lightrock”) and about the assets that Lightrock advises on, and has been prepared and furnished to you solely for informational purposes and reference only. It does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities and may not be used or relied upon in evaluating the merits of any investment.
The contents hereof should not be construed as investment, legal, tax or other advice and you should consult your own advisers as to legal, business, tax and other related matters. No representation or warranty, expressor implied, is made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this newsletter. The information contained herein is confidential and may not be used, reproduced or distributed to others, in whole or in part, for any other purpose without the prior written consent of Lightrock. Information provided is current as of the date of this newsletter (or as otherwise specified). Please note that throughout this document we provide various examples or subsets of existing and past investments advised on by Lightrock and in an aggregate may represent only a small percentage of the investments advised on by Lightrock. It should not be assumed that any other investments not shown would perform similarly to those shown. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Differences between past performance and actual results may be material and adverse.
Future investments may be made under materially different economic conditions, including interest rates, market trends and general business conditions, in different portfolio companies and using different investment strategies and these and these differences may have a significant effect on the results portrayed, portfolio companies held or decisions made. Each of these material market or economic conditions may or may not be repeated. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The value of investments may fall as well as rise and an investor may not receive all they have invested.