Vala Capital has unveiled the first three investments in its recently launched sustainable EIS fund, for which it plans to raise £15m over the next three years.
The group has invested in three start-up companies for its first funding round for the Vala Capital Sustainable Growth EIS. These include one of Vala’s existing investments Good Club, which is an online, low-waste, low-emission, sustainable grocer, providing sustainably sourced food, such as pastas and non-dairy milks, as well as household goods.
Secondly, the EIS has invested in Homethings, which appeared on a recent edition of Dragons’ Den. Vala said the sustainable cleaning product company is closing in on £1m of annualised revenue just 10 months after launching its Just Add Tap cleaning products – these save 96% of carbon emissions compared to conventional sprays and 100% of single-use plastic sprays.
The third investment is with Qflow, a construction-tech business providing real-time analysis of materials, waste and emissions onsite. Vala explained the company has successfully licensed its software solution to some of the largest contractors in the UK and deployed on several high-profile projects, including HS2.
Jake Wombwell-Povey, fund manager at Vala Capital, commented: “The world is increasingly demanding that business Wombwell-Povey is done in a sustainable way. It is the truly sustainable companies that will benefit from preferred access to customers, talent and capital – and increased interest from more conscientious retail, corporate and government buyers.”
The Sustainable Growth EIS is managed by Wombwell-Povey, Max Middleton, Jonathan Spanos and Vala’s CEO and founder Jasper Smith. They will also be supported by sustainability expert Mike Penrose of The Sustainability Group, which will independently assess all proposed investments, after they have been from Vala’s proprietary framework, to ensure they meet strict sustainability criteria.
The team will focus on three themes:
- Technology for planetary health: technologies mitigating climate change
- Consumption and commerce: food, packaging and the circular economy
- Fairer access to social goods: health, education and water
The company plans to raise £15m for the sustainable EIS over the next two years after raising its target of £1.2m for the first round. It is due to embark on a second round of fundraising in September.
Wombwell-Povey added: “This is just the start of our long-term journey to identify fast-growth companies that aim to deliver attractive returns because of their sustainability credentials, not in spite of them. We believe that there are compelling macro tailwinds that will drive both financial returns and sustainability impact for businesses that can capitalise on them over the next five to 15 years.”