SEB has created the new unit SEB Greentech to support Nordic companies within the fast evolving green technology sector.
The Swedish financial group argue there is a shortage of venture capital in the sector as investments in new, green technology often take a longer time to develop and mature than traditional venture-capital investments.
"This is an expression of our ambition to contribute to a sustainable transition. It is critical that young greentech companies gain access to funding at an early stage so they can realize the creation of technologies, products and services that can benefit society, our customers and shareholders," says SEB’s President and CEO Johan Torgeby in a statement.
Hopes for investments to three-fold
SEB Greentech starts with SEK 300m (EUR 28.1m) in investment capital, with an ambition for an increase to SEK 1bn (EUR 96m) over time.
The fund will invest in companies that develop solutions which in a decisive way can improve the use of natural resources and reduce negative ecological impacts, SEB states.
This can involve investments in renewable energy, energy storage, water and agricultural technology, circular business models and waste management, for example.
"We believe we can contribute with capital to an area that is important for society and in which Sweden can build a strong position as we have exciting entrepreneurs within green technology," says Sara Öhrvall, who has the overall responsibility for the sustainability transition within SEB.
"There is also value for the bank’s customers in being closer to the technological development that is taking place to contribute to the climate transition, and it is also an opportunity to transfer competence within the sustainability area to the bank," Öhrvall adds.
New fund manager
SEB Greentech will be headed by Markus Hökfelt, who has been recruited from Almi Invest, a Swedish venture capital firm, where he is currently fund manager for Almi Invest’s GreenTech fund.
He will assume his new position on 1 November.
"With SEB Greentech and other platforms, the bank now has the entirely right tools to invest private equity that creates long-term value for companies in this sector", says Markus Hökfelt.
Investment and exit decisions will be made by a newly formed Greentech Investment Committee.
The unit will also appoint an external advisory board with experience within green technology. SEB Greentech will be a sister organization of SEB Venture Capital, which invests venture capital in the fintech sector.
(This article was provided by our sister media, AMWatch)