Nesta Impact Investments unveils £50m ‘purpose-driven’ fund

Nesta Impact Investments

Nesta Impact Investments, the investment arm of the UK science and tech foundation Nesta, has announced a £50m investment strategy to back early-stage impact startups in the UK.

Nesta has earmarked more than £25m of the new fund for direct investments into tech startups to be made over the next five years.

The remaining funds will go towards Mission Studio, a joint venture of Nesta and Founders Factory that will support the launch of “mission-led” startups seeking to solve societal problems.

Nesta will make investments of between £500,000 and £1m per startup through the impact fund. Nesta is looking to make between five and 10 investments a year into “purpose-driven” startups tackling environmental and social issues.

“With this new strategy, we’re looking forward to helping another generation of mission-led businesses thrive,” said Nesta Impact Investments executive director, Lisa Barclay.

“We believe that being purpose-led and creating a scalable tech company can go hand-in-hand, as long as the right support is in place. That’s why, as investors, we bring so much more to the table than just capital.”

Nesta has announced the first three investments from its latest fund: childcare platform Koru Kids, diabetes support programme Habitual Health, and life science firm Oxford Medical Products.

The new investments are in line with Nesta’s areas of focus for its latest fund, which are childcare, health, and sustainability.

Nesta Impact Investments was founded in 2012 and has built an investment portfolio of more than 30 companies. Other UK firms that have been backed by Nesta in the past include workforce platform ProFinda, edtech startup Sumdog, and web editor Basekit.