Belgium’s Impact Shakers launches €20M fund to back diverse founders working on these thematic areas

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Belgium-based investment firm Impact Shakers announced on Friday, April 19th, that it has launched a new €20M venture fund, Impact Shakers Ventures. 

Through this fund, Impact Shakers will invest in startups from across Europe that are led by diverse founders and are focused on climate tech, impact infrastructure, and inclusion tech. 

About Impact Shakers 

Impact Shakers is an investment firm that aims to tackle societal and environmental challenges through inclusive entrepreneurship. It claims to do so by working closely with capital providers, entrepreneurs, and partners within an impact ecosystem. 

It supports impactful companies with diverse founder teams throughout their entire lifecycle, through acceleration, incubation, and education programmes, as well as various financing instruments. 

Founder & CEO Yonca Braekman says, “When I started Impact Shakers in 2018, my vision was to build a global impact ecosystem that would tackle societal and environmental challenges and to do this with entrepreneurs from very diverse backgrounds. It became clear pretty quickly that if we wanted to build a more inclusive startup ecosystem, we would need to add capital to the mix. We started with a friends & family instrument and are working our way up the capital ladder with this first impact venture fund.”

Who backed?

Impact Shakers Ventures I  has secured the anchor support and investment of the Belgian family office Victrix. 

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Basile Aloy, CEO of Victrix, says, “At Victrix, we believe in enabling strong teams looking to drive systemic change. We were impressed by the Impact Shakers team, their network and access to deal flow, as well as their ability to catalyse the ecosystem towards positive change.”

Additionally, the fund is backed by a significant number of individual impact leaders in Europe, with almost half of them being women. 

It is a significant increase compared to the 15-17 per cent of female investors across European LPs, claims the company, 

Aims to create positive change for people and planet at scale

According to Impact Shakers, the fund is based on the principle of “Collaboration is Systems Change”, and it taps into the pan-European ecosystem of entrepreneurs, investors, accelerators, academia, and other stakeholders that the Impact Shakers team has been building since 2018.

Yonca Braekman and Alina Klarner, Head of Ventures and General Partner at Impact Shakers Ventures, will allocate this capital. 

“With this, we want Impact Shakers to ignite a profound shift, catalysing 10x in investments into diverse impact founders from the ecosystem. We are on a mission to show everyone what we see within our ecosystem every day – that supporting talent that might not look like the current Google search of successful founders will not only create more impact for all but will also be the most financially rewarding path going forward,” says Klarner. 

Impact Shakers Ventures I will invest in a venture-accelerator model, meaning the team will select 6-8 startups each year for an initial investment of €150K. 

Following the investment, the startups will undergo a 6-month impact acceleration programme. 

The programme is built on three main pillars: 

  • Impact 
  • Inclusion
  • Wellbeing

During and beyond the programme, the startups will benefit from the expertise of the Impact Shakers team, their ecosystem of experts, impact investors, and other partners. 

The startups will also have the potential for follow-on investments of up to €1,500,000.

“Founders are the key factor for the success of any early-stage startup – we need to look after the founders and make sure they thrive and become the impact leaders the world needs”, says Impact Shakers’ co-founder Diana Pati, who will be leading operations of the accelerator.

Impact Shakers has already made its first investment through its Impact Shakers Ventures I fund in Berlin-based startup Faircado, co-founded by the Belgian Evoléna de Wilde d’Estmael.

Faircado has built an AI-powered browser plug-in that automatically finds the pre-owned products (books, electronics, or fashion) searched for online to make second-hand shopping the first choice.

In the coming weeks, the company will announce the first group of impact startups that will receive investment and support from Impact Shakers Ventures I fund.

“Each of us has a role to play on the path to success and to do this at the highest level of excellence, ideas of hierarchy and competition are simply harmful. Collaboration and vulnerability are key to systems change and will allow us to focus on building the most impactful and successful solutions and less on ego and short-term winning,” says Yonca Braeckman. 

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Vigneshwar Ravichandran

Vigneshwar has been a News Reporter at Silicon Canals since 2018. A seasoned technology journalist with almost a decade of experience, he covers the European startup ecosystem, from AI and Web3 to clean energy and health tech. Previously, he was a content producer and consumer product reviewer for leading Indian digital media, including NDTV, GizBot, and FoneArena. He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Electronics and Instrumentation in Chennai and a Diploma in Broadcasting Journalism in New Delhi.

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