Dear Friends of Lightrock,
We hope this finds you and your loved ones safe and well.
The global adverse effects of COVID-19 have accelerated the concern of social and ecological challenges to the top of the agenda in politics, regulation, business, investors and consumers. In this context, we are proud of our investment strategy which is built on backing scalable solutions to such global challenges, as these directly correlate to the growth and scaled impact of our portfolio companies. These companies have already implemented innovations in sectors which have moved into focus during the pandemic and have been able to quickly rise to the occasion to address challenges. Our portfolio’s development over the past months is a tangible proof of the success of “sustainable capitalism” with regards to social, ecological, and financial returns, and a real testament to what has been built over many years.
We are excited to be able to share quite a few examples of positive milestones from the first months of 2021 below and there is more news to come. We have built an exciting pipeline of new investments globally across all our investment themes of people, planet and productivity and look forward to announcing these new partnerships soon.
In this context, congratulations our founders/CEOs and their teams on their remarkable success and progress for positive impact, and also thank you to our partners and allies for their trusted and productive collaboration and support.
With many positive developments in progress, both in a global context as well as within the Lightrock family, we look forward to collaborating and staying in touch over the next months.
The Global Lightrock Team
Many of our portfolio companies across all sectors have stepped up significantly to counter the negative effects of the pandemic. Some examples: PharmEasy, India’s leading pharmacy company, launched their 'Go Corona Go' initiative to support and accelerate vaccinations inIndia. Togetherall, a 24/7, safe online community from the UK for those who are experiencing mental health issues, has expanded its services and has recorded a100%+ increase in both new user registrations and in activity on its platform during lockdowns. Smartcoin, an Indian FinTech company that provides micro-loans through its app, accelerated the implementation of several technology-based changes and innovations to further extend access to finance to those economically hit hard by lockdowns. Dr Consulta provides high-quality, affordable primary healthcare and diagnostic services in Brazil, and has launched its successful telemedicine platform to serve more patients remotely. Kauvery, a multi-specialty Indian hospital chain, was one of the first private hospitals to treat COVID patients in its region, with a 95%+ success rate. Dunzo, a hyperlocal delivery and e-commerce firm enables local merchants inIndia to benefit from the change in consumer behaviour towards online shopping.
We are excited to share that we have completed our investment in Satispay, the leading Italian fintech revolutionizing mobile payments. We are proud to have co-led the Series C investment round and look forward to collaborating with the CEO Alberto Dalmasso, his incredible team and our co-investors to accelerate its international expansion and democratize finance for all market participants.
Earlier this year, we invested in Cuemath, an international online learning platform. Founder and CEO Manan Khurma and his team have created math and coding programs that make every aspect of learning maths engaging and comprehensive.
Recently, we have also announced our investment in South Pole, one of the world’s largest companies fully focused on fighting climate change. We have been very impressed by the extensive solutions platform, built by Renat Heuberger, Christoph Grobbel and their exceptional global team - looking forward to partnering with them in accelerating global climate action.
Furthermore, we have made follow-on investments as part of several successful fundraises across our portfolio, for example: PharmEasy, having become a unicorn at $1.5B valuation after its last investment round of $350M led by Prosus Ventures and TPG Growth; Lilium, having announced the intention to list on Nasdaq through a merger with Qell Acquisition Corp; Copia, having closed its Series C1 round raising $21M, attracting $14M from Goodwell and the US DFC; Waycool, having increased its revenues by over 40% in FY2021; Infarm, just having introduced their new large-scale farms that use technology to gather data and better grow food, aiming to cover 500,000 square meters by 2025.
In the current volatile market environments, we have collaborated closely with our portfolio companies on their strategic and operational opportunities and challenges. Here are some examples of recent achieve-ments: MessageBird has just announced having extended its series C fundraise to $1B and its intention to acquire SparkPost, expanding its presence in theUS. Aknamed has grown 10x in FY2021 and now is India's largest, tech-enabled, hospital-focused supply chain enterprise. Latin American fintech unicorn Creditas, is expanding quickly, having acquired Bcredi, a low interest rate real estate lending platform. Tania Boler, founder and CEO of FemTech company Elvie, has been named "Tech Gamechanger Woman of the Year" byGlamour UK as well as “Tech Tour Innovation Award Winner”. Kalera, the vertical farming company, has acquired Vindara, the first company to develop seeds specifically designed for use in vertical indoor farm environments. CMR Surgical has introduced their robot Versius to Australia and Germany, rapidly expanding to global markets. MKopa is experiencing surging demand for the smartphones it is now financing.
We are delighted to announce our successful exit from Nordic environmental services provider Sortera Group AB alongside SummaEquity. Lightrock co-invested in Sortera in 2016, as part of a buy and build strategy. Sortera has since evolved to become a Nordic leader for collection, recycling, processing, and sale of residual products from the building and construction sector. We are excited about this successful exit, but even more about the growth prospects of Sortera and its positive impact on the planet. We are already working on another exit and will soon be able to share the news with you.
As pioneers of impact investing, we hold an important responsibility in shaping this landscape. Under the leadership of Marc, our Head ofImpact, we have finalized our global strategic impact framework around the 3 meta themes – People, Planet and Productivity –by developing evidence-based underlaying narratives and theories of change for the objectives, SDGs and business solutions we are targeting through our investments. We have also gone through are vision of our impact tools and processes, our proprietary impact assessment – the Lightrock Impact Scorecard –to elevate these to the next level. To showcase our expertise and leadership on impact, we have engaged BlueMark Tideline for independently verifying our impact management systems and processes in alignment with the Operating Principles of Impact Management (OPIM),to which we are a founding signatory since 2019.