Norrsken VC - Impact investing in a market downturn with Agate Freimane

In today's show, we will discuss with Agate:
- The state of Climate Tech in the Nordics
- The correlation between impact and financial returns
- What the current economic slowdown means for Climate Tech VC
- The biggest learnings from raising Norrsken VC and investing in 40 companies

Climate Insiders is brought to you by Climentum Capital, a Seed+ and Series A cleantech European venture capital firm focused on funding and scaling climate-positive ventures that cut down on CO2 emissions.

If you are interested in how smarter capitalism combined with mission-driven founders building innovative tech startups can overcome our climate crisis and build a better future, you’ve come to the right place.

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Agate Freimane is a General Partner at Norrsken VC, a €125m Swedish early stage impact VC investing in technology that solves some of the world’s greatest challenges.

She comes from investment banking at Morgan Stanley and then worked at a PropTech/Fintech startup: Brickvest.

- The Norrsken backstory: how 3 unicorn founders started 6 years ago a one-stop shop for impact investing (1:00)
- Agate’s views on the Climate Tech scene in Sweden and the Nordics (3:50)
- How Stockholm wants to become the global impact capital (4:00)
- The transition from a tech ecosystem to impact ecosystem (4:30)
- The power or role models to scale the ecosystem (5:00)
- How Northvolt’s success led the charge to a booming Swedish electric ecosystem (trucks, airplanes, boats) (6:00)
- What Agate thinks of the “classic VC downturn letter” that most VCs have been issuing to their portfolio companies (8:40)
- Startups with strong fundamentals will remain the best VC cases (10:20)
- Why impact startups might be the most resilient in an economic downturn
- VC investing comes down to two options: vitamins vs painkillers. Impact companies are the painkillers (11:00)
- Is 10 years sufficient as a time-horizon for deep tech hardware solutions? (12:00)
Why Norrsken looks for deep tech startups that have immediate pent-up demand (13:00)
The one area where Agate has completely changed her mind in the past 2 years (16:10)
Why Norrsken’s biggest mistake was to fall in love in something else other than the team (19:00)
Agate’s tips to people that want to break into Climate Tech and join a startup (21:50)
The 700 Climate tech jobs listed on Norrsken’s job board with (23:00)
Why the hardest part is to break into the Climate community and why it gets much easier to transfer between companies once you understand the climate ecosystem (24:00)
How Norrsken runs investment decisions (26:40)
The 1-to-1 correlation between financial and impact returns (28:00)

Yoann Berno After a career spent building and investing in top tech startups, Yoann is now founding member and General Partner at Climentum Capital focused on investing in game changing technological solutions to our worsening climate crisis.

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