SmartCap made its first direct investments from the Green Fund
SmartCap has backed first startups from Green Fund direct investment program by investing in Vok Bikes and eAgronom. Vok Bikes raised a total of 3,8 million euros and eAgronom 5 million euros, as both companies contribute to solving environmental problems through their innovative technologies.
SmartCap entered into an investment agreement with eAgronom, an agricultural sector startup. The company is helping farmers to adopt more sustainable farming practices through the use of digital tools and technology-based strategies. This includes the implementation of carbon sequestration monitoring and management technologies and enables the farmers to generate verified carbon credits. This enables farmers to receive compensation for reducing their carbon footprint by selling carbon credit and allows responsible companies to offset their own carbon emissions. According to Robin Saluoks, the CEO of eAgronom, with the new funding, the company plans to expand its product portfolio primarily in the carbon market and extend its reach to Europe and Africa by incorporating greenhouse gas monitoring and measurement technologies.
“eAgronom raised a total of €5 million in the funding round and secured strong investors, providing confidence for the desired development and expansion,” said Sille Pettai, a member of the SmartCap Board of Directors, adding that amidst economic cooling and a decline in investment activity, raising funds for companies has become achallenging and long process that prospective startups seeking investments from the Green Fund should take into account. In addition to SmartCap Green Fund, Icos Capital and Soulmates Ventures are among the major investors in eAgronom. The company also received support from Enterprise Estonia (EAS) for product development and innovation.
SmartCap is also one of the investors in a €3.8 million funding round for Vok Bikes, an Estonian startup. The company develops electric cargo bikes and aims to expand production and build a pan-European sales network with the investment. According to Indrek Petjärve, the CEO of Vok Bikes, the company’s fast product development cycle, low maintenance and parking costs, and low energy consumption give it a strong competitive advantage in the global micromobility market while significantly contributing to climate goals.
“Vok Bikes contributes to solving environmental problems in the transportation sector, where the growing volumes of e-commerce require innovative last-mile delivery solutions, and traditional traffic congestion is also a challenge in cities. It was important for us that the company focuses on non-software solutions, has already established itself outside of Estonia, and has raised a significant amount of capital from reputable private investors,” commented Sille Pettai, a member of the SmartCap Board of Directors and Fund Manager, on the funding decision. In addition to SmartCap Green Fund, the funding round for Vok Bikes involved Metaplanet, Specialist VC, Sunly, several angel investors, and also received support from the Enterprise Estonia applied research program.
According to Sille Pettai, the interest of green-oriented startups in direct investments is significant, and further funding decisions can be expected in the coming months. “The funding decision for investments is preceded by a thorough evaluation of companies against SmartCap Green Fund investment criteria and contribution to climate goals, as well as collaboration with co-investors in the funding round,” Pettai added
SmartCap Green Fund’s direct investment program aims to invest in early-stage Estonian startups that develop new technologies, products, or services that contribute to achieving a climate-neutral circular economy and solving environmental problems. SmartCap’s investment in a single green technology company from the Green Fund ranges from 250,000 to 2.5 million euros.
Until the end of 2024, SmartCap has allocated a total of 20 million euros from the Green Fund for direct investments.