A quick look at the most influential European growth companies shows that they primarily solve comfort problems of the middle class. From 30 of the most funded European startups, merely two are solving environmental issues.
“There’s a big difference if the most privileged percentage of the population is using their time to optimize social media advertising instead of developing new medical technologies for example”, says Annu Nieminen from Upright.
We also have reasons to be optimistic. Governments around the world have committed to more ambitious climate actions. China has pledged to carbon neutrality by 2060, the US by 2050, and Finland by 2035. The world’s biggest oil companies are facing pressure to act on climate change and the generation of “green champion” companies are growing. In Finland, 2019 was the first year since the 1990 recession when meat consumption decreased.
Greentech growth has continually outperformed predictions and in 2020 the volume of the greentech economy exceeded 4trillion for the first time. The Green megatrend is inevitable.
The share of impact startups is growing in Finland and in the Nordics. Swappie and Menddie are fighting against the disposable economy. ResQ & FiksuRuoka are trying to reduce food waste. However, purpose-driven startups have challenges to get early stage funding. Even disruptive software startups might struggle to find a runway.
Wealth accumulates with age and privilege, which means that in general, capital assets are located in people and places where the effects of climate change aren’t experienced as drastically as elsewhere. These populations, who are familiar, but not born in the digital world, have the resources to decide which technologically and sustainably impactful innovations get funded.
Aikainen is established to accelerate the green, digital megatrend. Aikainen builds the bridge between capital and impactful startups. We believe that the best way to build a new, better world is to invest in world changing ideas. And in teams who are fearless enough to implement their visions.
At Aikainen, we take an active role in company development. Besides assets, we invest our knowledge, passion and time to make your startup thrive. Our goal is not to get an annual return of X%. Instead, our goal is to create as much positive impact as possible. We are certain that the annual returns will follow the impact.
Disclaimer: We are not perfect nor ready, but the vision is clear. And we expect the same from the startups we fund.
Ps. If you want to learn about sources for funding in Finland, have a look at our guide here.