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LUMO Labs, an Eindhoven-based venture capital firm, has launched a new €100 million fund targeting European impact-driven tech startups. The LUMO Rise Fund aims to invest in 30-35 companies over the next four years, focusing on emerging technologies like AI, blockchain, IoT, and VR/AR that align with UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The fund expands LUMO’s regional focus beyond the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium to include Scandinavian countries, the Baltic States, Spain, and Portugal. With a commitment to diversity and expertise, LUMO has appointed two senior partners, enhancing its capabilities in digital security, sustainability, and impact methodologies. The fund’s launch underscores a growing trend in impact investing and technology-driven solutions to global challenges.

The LUMO Rise Fund represents a significant step forward for LUMO Labs, which has been making waves in the European startup ecosystem since its inception in 2016. Founded by Andy Lürling and Sven Bakkes, LUMO Labs has been committed to investing in startups that promise financial returns and address pressing societal and environmental issues. Their new fund continues this legacy with an even stronger emphasis on technologies that can bring about meaningful change.

Technologies with a purpose

The Rise Fund’s focus is clear: invest in emerging technologies such as AI, blockchain, IoT, VR, and AR. These technologies are selected for their potential to address some of the most pressing issues identified in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Specifically, LUMO Labs targets SDGs related to health and well-being, quality education, sustainable cities and communities, and climate action. This alignment ensures that the startups they support are innovative and mission-driven.

Diversity and expertise

In a move to bolster the fund’s capabilities, LUMO Labs appointed Dagmar van Ravenswaay Claasen and Sabine Schoorl as senior partners last December. Both bring a wealth of experience in digital security, compliance, impact methodologies, and sustainability. Their addition enhances the firm’s expertise and reinforces its commitment to diversity. Impressively, 40% of startups in LUMO Labs’ current portfolio have women as (co-)founders, a figure significantly above the European average of less than 2%.

Coaching for success

Invested startups will gain more than just financial support. They will also have access to the LUMO coaching program, which includes guidance from third-party experts and seasoned entrepreneurs. This program is designed to optimize economic value creation and maximize environmental and social impact. By providing startups with the tools and mentorship they need, LUMO Labs aims to ensure that their investments lead to sustainable and impactful growth.

The Rise Fund has already attracted a diverse group of investors, including individual investors, family offices, financial institutions, and Dutch regional development agencies such as BOM and Oost NL. This broad base of support underscores the confidence that the investment community has in LUMO Labs’ vision and strategy. The fund’s launch comes at a time when impact investing is gaining momentum, highlighting a shift towards investments that offer both financial returns and positive societal impacts. The first investments are expected to be made by mid-2024.