Lightrock November 2021 Update

Lightrock November 2021 Update

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Dear Friends of Lightrock,

 

At Lightrock we have been transitioning well from a successful summer into a busy autumn. With the trends that we back gaining increased momentum, especially the fight against climate change with COP26 at the centre of attention, we have accelerated our collaboration with founders who drive solutions with positive impact.

 

Having invested more than USD 700m since the beginning of this year, we are expecting an ever-increasing pace of positive developments until the year end. We are excited and privileged to have been able to welcome 11 new companies to our portfolio since our last update, such as Sunfire, Chalo and Dataiku. Big congrats to the entrepreneurs and their teams as well as the Lightrock deal teams, who have been working hard for these accomplishments. Our portfolio continued to develop very well, with many companies having been able to raise more funding and celebrating major achievements, for instance Lilium, which started trading on Nasdaq, and Copia Kenya which won three e-commerce awards. A big milestone for Lightrock earlier this year was the close of our global growth fund, the Lightrock Growth Fund I, at USD 900m of commitments, which was raised together with LGT Private Bank. In addition, BlueMark Tideline, a leading provider of independent impact verification services for investors and companies, has completed their external verification of our impact management systems and processes – with Lightrock surpassing industry standards in five out of seven categories.

 

Lightrock’s achievements are a testament to our fantastic team. Over the last few months, over 20 new colleagues joined our investment teams and global functions across all our offices.

 

While we are grateful for these positive achievements over the past year, we remain humbled by the global challenges we are trying to help solve with our investments, and to accelerate our support for founders who provide scalable solutions.

 

Best regards,

 

The Lightrock Global Team

Lightrock Updates

Latest investments

We are happy to announce our recent investment in Sunfire, a global leader in the development and manufacturing of green hydrogen technologies. We fundamentally believe in the cruciality of the decarbonisation in industries and the increasing role of hydrogen in this transition. We are excited to back Sunfire on delivering significant and measurable positive climate impact, alongside its outstanding and visionary entrepreneurs, Nils Aldag and Christian Olshausen.

At the beginning of August, we were excited to share news of our investment in Dataiku, a centralized data platform that supports businesses along their data journey for exceptional business results, which is headed up by the visionary founders Florian Douetteau, Clement Stenac, Thomas Cabrol and Marc Batty. Dataiku is on the frontiers of responsible AI, ensuring that models are accountable, with the company having already initiated workstreams to drive positive impact, including a customer charter for positive AI and a philanthropic foundation.

Earlier this year, we also led the Series C funding for Chalo, a public transport technology firm in India. Its founders, Mohit Dubay, Vinayak Bhavnani, Priya Singh Dubay and Dhruv Chopra, aspire to deploy technology which improves the bus experience through their app, thus having a significant impact on the under-served public transport segment.

In light of India's booming demand for financial services, we have backed several start-ups that use technology to make banking, lending, and other financial tools available & accessible across all communities. For example, Lightrock is pleased to have co-led the Series A funding for CredAvenue, a debt platform that offers lending institutions and enterprises, discovery and execution solutions across a wide range of products. Due to the systemic limitations of the financing infrastructure in India, CredAvenue is aiming to facilitate transactions between lenders and borrowers, by also creating an environment to discover, design and monitor debt portfolios.

Additionally, we led the funding round for Capital Float, an Amazon-backed company that offers its ‘buy now, pay later’ service on many popular online platforms in India, including Amazon India and the airline, Spicejet. Capital Float caters to a large segment of the population with no credit cards or traditional credit scores, by making credit more affordable and convenient through its platform, thus positively impacting the lives of millions of customers through their financial products.

Also in India, we have backed  Eupheus Learning, a school-focused distribution platform with a classroom-first curriculum approach. The company assists schools to implement a hybrid form of teaching and learning experience, following the evolution of online teaching and the impact of Covid-19, and currently works with 5,500 schools in India and the Middle East. Lightrock proudly participated in its Series C funding.

Furthermore, as part of several successful fundraises across our portfolio, we have made a number of follow-on investments, for example:

Konfio became Mexico’s fourth unicorn, having raised $110 million to expand its product offering and look for acquisition opportunities.

WayCool Foods raised $13 million to enhance its technology in full-stack, end-to-end supply chain and customer-based analytics.

Recent portfolio accomplishments

Lightrock continues to support its portfolio companies in their strategic and operational opportunities and challenges. Some recent accomplishments are:

Lilium started trading on Nasdaq and partnered with Brazilian airline Azul to build an exclusive electric air taxi network in Brazil, and also with ABB e-mobility to revolutionize the charging infrastructure for regional air travel;

Konfio acquired Sr Pago Oficial to expand its service offerings into financing, credit card, B2B payments and invoicing;

Copia Kenya won three awards at the Kenya eCommerce Awards 2021, for contributing to remove barriers in e-commerce;

Satispay partnered with e-commerce company Shopify, thus integrating Satispay into all businesses using Shopify to manage their online stores;

Elvie secured additional funding to its Series C round to drive more growth through geographical expansion;

Creditas partnered with financial start-up Nubank, adding to its goal of diversifying its portfolio in Brazil;

Eupheus Learning acquired student personalization start-up, ClassKlap, to scale up their abilities to transform classroom learning using student data.

Lightrock Growth Fund 1 close

This summer, we announced the close of our Lightrock Growth Fund I at USD 900m. The Lightrock Growth Fund I invests growth capital into businesses predominantly at series B or C in the target regions (Europe, Latin America and India) and in Lightrock’s key impact themes (people, planet and productivity). With LGT as its anchor investor, the fund has already invested in 27 companies, including six unicorns. Investors in the Lightrock Growth Fund I include LGT Group Foundation and LGT Private Banking clients, who have invested via the Lightrock Evergreen Fund (resulting in a five-fold oversubscription of the initial target size).

Impact advancement

Being a founding signatory of the Operating Principles of Impact Management (OPIM), we have published our annual 2021 Disclosure Statement, which contains insights on our proprietary impact management systems and processes and how they align with the Impact Principles. We have also recently shared our approach on our impact assessment, along with our challenges and best practices at the Impact Principles’ webinar.
This year, our Statement has been independently verified by BlueMark Tideline, and we are proud that this leading provider of independent impact verification services has rated our impact management systems and processes as exceptional.

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