November 26, 2020

Newsletter November 2020

We hope you are doing OK, navigating this second lock-down. We miss connecting with all of you in real life, but let us give you a virtual update on what we’ve been up to.

The period after the summer has been eventful, to say the least. We launched our second fund fjerljepping over a tricky Zoom-only fundraising environment to present a first close at €55 million and a new name (Social Impact Ventures is now Rubio!) in September. You can read more in FD and Sprout.

In October, we won the Financial Investigator Impact Award. This new European Impact Investment award is a great validation of our achievements to date. From a longlist of 300 European impact funds, 10 top notch impact funds were nominated for the award, and a very experienced jury of institutional investors and impact investing experts made the final selection.

In November, we presented our first Rubio Fund II investment in Wakuli. And we expect to present two more investments to you before year end, so we have hit the ground running this fall and are very happy to continue backing world-changing entrepreneurs.

We also grew our Rubio team, with Patrick Beekman joining as controller, and Tijl Hoefnagels joining from Future Food Fund as Venture Partner focused on food & agriculture investments.

AdVentures of our ventures

In July we invested in Skinvision, the last investment out of Fund I. They have developed a mobile app and AI driven platform that saves healthy life years by classifying skin spots in skin cancer risk categories with the same accuracy as an expert-level dermatologist. One of their key clients, health insurance company CZ, released some interesting data on how the app is being used for early detection of melanoma.
Sympower selected in Sprout’s Challenger 50 and also joined the TechLeap Rise programme, where over the past month they participated in strategy sessions learning & growing with the best Dutch energy tech startups.
Samasource became a B Corp in September, and completed a 3-year randomized control trial (RCT) led by researchers from MIT that evaluated the success of its impact-model towards its mission of creating sustainable pathways out of poverty. The RCT is the golden standard in academic research, and further validates the transformative impact Sama has on the lives of unemployed youth in Africa.
Yorick Bruins, one of the co-founders of our latest investment, was interviewed on the podcast ‘Better Together’ where they discuss the impact thesis behind Wakuli in depth.
Last month, Bomberbot was acquired by Coderise, which enables Bomberbot’s expansion to the US. Digital skills and basic programming knowledge are crucial in today’s digitised society, and Coderise and Bomberbot uniting is a great step for coming generations worldwide to obtain the digital skills required to become successful citizens.

Articles that inspired us
1. . The Art of Scaling – (ScaleUpNation, long read)
ScaleUpNation released their ‘Art of Scaling’ research on the success factors of scale-ups. One of their conclusions is that a clear impact orientation is a clear positive through superior access to talent, lower cost of financing and additional brand value.

2. Why Bioplastics Will Not Solve the World’s Plastics Problem – (Yale, 11 min read)

Deep-dive on the issues with bioplastics, which is being touted by some as the solution to the plastics problem. Includes a mention of Dutch sustainability chemistry company Avantium.

3. Small Group of Farms Keeps The Netherlands Locked Up – (Investico, 5 min read)

Interesting piece of investigative journalism (in Dutch) into the impact of a small group of farms that are heavy emitters of nitrogen.