Helsinki-based NordicNinja, a venture capital firm that backs companies tackling the world’s carbon footprint with a focus on climate tech, deeptech and digital society, announced on Tuesday the launch of their second fund at €200M.
NordicNinja’s Fund II’s cornerstone investor is the Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC), a Japanese institution promoting economic cooperation worldwide. European investors include BaltCap and Swedbank pension funds along with existing Japanese investors Honda and Omron, who also invested in Fund I.
Tomosaku Sohara, Managing Partner at NordicNinja, says, “Thousands of kilometres apart, Japan and Europe have much in common. Both have company-building legacies, an appetite for innovation and an understanding of the need to take care of the planet.”
“NordicNinja is a bridge that turns these shared interests into common goals, bringing two of the world’s biggest ecosystems together for the benefit of us all,” adds Sohara.
Investing in companies building the world
Founded in 2019, NordicNinja is a venture capital firm created as a collaboration between JBIC IG Partners and BaltCap. It aims to promote digital innovation by investing in startups that combine European founders and innovations with Japan’s interests.
The management team includes key figures like Tomosaku Sohara, Shinichi Nikkuni, Marek Kiisa, and Rainer Sternfeld, who oversee the firm’s investments and operations in support of this mission.
The firm invests in startups at the intersection of technology and sustainability, particularly in climate tech, deeptech, and digital society.
The company’s team has strengths in diverse backgrounds, strong engineering expertise, experience in green energy, co-founding climate tech startups like Planet OS and H2GO Power, and tech executive experience at firms like ABB and McKinsey.
Collectively, NordicNinja’s partners made over 80 partner-level investments and more than 20 angel investments globally.
European startups forge alliances with Japanese capital, networks
NordicNinja is on a mission to support and connect global leaders in sustainability, primarily from Northern Europe, leveraging the region’s expertise in digital innovation and development.
The firm will provide these leaders with access to Japan’s networks of investors and companies with the goal of unlocking the full potential of their technologies.
NordicNinja’s fund serves as a bridge between East and West, facilitating responsible innovation and impact at the critical Series A stage. In doing so, they believe to be pioneering a new model of globally-minded and responsible venture capital in Europe.
The firm says it is expanding its operations to the UK, Ireland, and the BeNeLux countries in response to increased demand. Simultaneously, NordicNinja is reinforcing its presence in the Nordics and the Baltics.
What to expect from Fund II?
NordicNinja’s €101M Fund I invested in companies like Bolt, Einride and Voi, among others, with three unicorns emerging. Half of the investments are in the vital but carbon-intensive mobility sector, addressing inefficiencies and poor user experience.
Marek Kiisa, Managing Partner at NordicNinja, says, “We need to start solving the hard problems and start solving them today if we’re to shift the dial in our fight against climate change. This is why sustainability and ESG underpin every deal, decision, and discussion to ensure we’re focused on taking action.”
“Companies which we invested in are taking action today to deploy new solutions to reverse this trend – such as Einride, which enables a new freight system that is fully electric, autonomous, and able to decrease their clients’ emissions by up to 95 per cent.”
NordicNinja’s Fund II will sustain its mission of investing in early-stage founders driving positive change in sustainability and the digital society.