On Thursday 17 November, Belgian crowdfunding platform MyMicroInvest hosted an exclusive event in the city of Ghent, Magic 5, to celebrate the launch of Inventures II, the first venture-capital fund for impact businesses tackling the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
During this meet-and-fund between investors and social entrepreneurs, MyMicroInvest exceeded its target by €4.8 Million, raising €9.8 Million for 5 companies working towards a sustainable Europe. This is a first for the private sector, supporting the SDGs through crowdfunding, social entrepreneurship and impact investing.
A unique platform combining venture capital and crowdfunding
Inventures II is a VC fund looking to raise €50 Million for 35 impact business that focus on sustainability, specifically 5 SDGs relevant for Europe: Health and Well-Being, Clean Energy, Sustainable Economic Growth, Smart Cities and Communities, and Partnerships. inventures II aims to generate an internal revenue rate of 15% and expects to create 350 sustainable jobs.
Olivier de Duve, CEO: “Inventures II is for investors who want to mutually contribute to a more sustainable Europe and planet. Our impact-investment fund is set up as a multi-stakeholder partnership enabling the public, private and academic sectors to leverage their combined knowledge, technology and resources towards the SDGs. What’s unprecedented here is the involvement of the crowd. Inventures II carefully screens each startup and scale-up project, looking specifically at scalability and sustainability, then passes these projects on to the crowds who can freely invest in them on our crowdfunding platform, MyMicroInvest.com.”
A look back at the event
Magic 5 gave the floor to a series of high-profile speakers who shared their views on the importance of entrepreneurship and how citizens can each contribute to a future where sustainability and profitability are mutually inclusive.
MyMicroInvest hosted 6 panelists during Magic 5: Alexander De Croo, Belgium’s Deputy PM and Minister for Development Cooperation, Pieterjan Boutens, CEO of Showpad, Philippe Haspeslagh, Honorary Dean of Vlerick Business School, Omar Mohout, startup authority, Marga Hoek, expert on sustainable business and capital, and José Zurstrassen, serial entrepreneur turned investor.
Some 350 guests attended, with thousands more online, participating and investing in real time.
Deputy PM De Croo, who serves as a signatory and spokesperson of the Belgian SDG Charter, says: “The SDGs are an unprecedented opportunity for change. If we want to eradicate poverty by 2030 and preserve our natural capital, we have to build strong partnerships with the private sector, bolster innovation and invest in the green economy today. Inventures II strengthens our commitment to sustainable development. It’s a first in the venture-capital world”.
Sustainable thinking is becoming more and more popular among high-impact businesses who identify with the UN’s environmental objectives. At Magic 5, some € 9.8 Million were raised for the following social enterprises:
- Santech – a Paris-based software development company allowing healthcare providers and other clients to efficiently and cost-effectively implement e-health solutions.
- AproPLAN – a tablet-enabled construction management app for contractors and architects to keep track of their plans, blueprints and projects in an effort to reduce wastage across the construction industry.
- Zen Car – Belgium’s zero-emission and zero-noise electric car-sharing leader, boasting a visionary approach to electric mobility solutions in Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp, and beyond.
- Social Stock Exchange – a platform giving access to a new kind of regulated capital market for socially conscious business owners and investors seeking positive impact and financial returns.
- Inventures II – the world’s first venture-capital fund providing capital to impact businesses tackling the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals towards a more responsible and sustainable global economy.
With a community of more than 35,000 members and 5,000 investors, MyMicroInvest has raised more than €23 Million across an investment portfolio of 50 innovative companies, making it one of the leading equity and loan-based crowdfunding platforms in Belgium.
Internationally, it is the first platform to have launched two pan-European crowdfunding campaigns, #EUCrowdShow and Social Stock Exchange, and Inventures II, an investment fund focused on delivering sustainability and profitability through social entrepreneurship.
On MyMicroInvest.com, both crowd and professional investors can share in the success of high-potential startups and scale-ups by investing from €100 or by lending to established businesses.
Through crowdfunding, MyMicroInvest seeks to promote economic development and job creation for the sustainable economy of tomorrow.