KAIROS LAUNCHES “KAIROS VENTURES ESG ONE”,
THE NEW ESG VENTURE CAPITAL FUND AIMED AT SUPPORTING THE GROWTH OF START-UPS AND INNOVATIVE SMALL&MID COMPANIES
ELISA SCHEMBARI JOINS THE VENTURE CAPITAL FUND AS PARTNER
Kairos, an asset and wealth management Group, officially debuts in the venture capital market through the launch of the new fund Kairos Ventures ESG One, following the appointment of Roberto Zanco as Head of Alternative Illiquid Investments on last July.
Following the launch of the first ELTIF last year, Kairos intends to further diversify its investment strategy and strengthen its position in the illiquid alternative asset segment through the launch of the new product which has a funding target of €100 million.
Kairos Ventures ESG One is a closed-end fund under Italian law which, promoting the principles of sustainability, will make investments in innovative start-ups and SMEs – early and late stage – active in four areas: B2B digital transformation (including blockchain, 5G, big data, Internet of Things, AI), life science (diagnostics, animal health, medtech), new space economy (drones, space tourism, internet satellites) and green energy technology (renewable energy technologies, bioenergy, smart cities).
The product will benefit from a particularly favourable market environment in which, on one side, the Recovery Fund and the Horizon Europe program are pushing towards greater innovation and sustainability, and on the other, the pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation already underway. In addition, the asset class is registering an increasing interest from investors, with more than €600 million invested in start-ups in Italy in the first six months of 2021 and the aim to reach €1 billion by the end of the year (according to data from UpBase/StartupItalia Alliance).
The management team is expanding with Elisa Schembari joining the fund as Partner. After some experiences in McKinsey and Procter&Gamble, in 2013 Elisa founded, together with Roberto Zanco, RedSeed Ventures, a company specialized in venture capital investments targeting technologic start-ups and small&medium-sized companies, in some of which she is still a board member (Leaf Space, of which she is Chairman, Farmoderm, Midnight Call and Liquidweb).
Thanks to Kairos’s deep knowledge of the Italian entrepreneurial field and the fund’s management team track record in the world of tech start-ups, Kairos Ventures ESG One will be able to partner with entrepreneurs alongside their strategic growth path, mainly signed by M&A operations, sales to industrial or financial players, as well as listings on the stock exchange.
The fund will mainly invest in Italy, with a marginal stake in mature venture capital markets such as UK, US and Israel. The portfolio will be broadly diversified with the objective of maximising returns and minimising the level of risk.
Kairos Ventures ESG One targets both professional and private investors, with a minimun threshold of €500.000, who are interested in approaching this asset-class, also benefiting from existing tax incentives and taking the opportunity to invest in entrepreneurial initiatives with great development potential. The duration of the fund is set at 10 years.
Roberto Zanco, Head of Alternative Illiquid Investments, said: “I firmly believe that the innovative model we are creating is truly interesting since it is based on the integration of an entire venture capital team within an asset manager company like Kairos, also thanks to the existing economies of scale possibilities. I do think that this is the right time to invest in venture capital, especially in Italy, due to the acceleration in the digital and healthcare sectors driven by the Pandemic, the financial resources allocated by the Recovery Fund for a greener, more digital and more resilient world and by the Horizon Europe project for research and innovation. These are the reasons behind the choice of the sectors we want to focus in, with a strong emphasis on sustainability. We have already identified the first investments and we are ready to go”.
Elisa Schembari, Partner of Kairos Ventures ESG One, added: “Sustainability will revolutionize the global socio-economic landscape, social and environmental impact factors will be increasingly central to the decision-making processes of individuals and companies as well as to asset allocation and management processes. Kairos Ventures ESG One has a unique vision: to invest in innovative technology companies that aspire to achieve ambitious social, environmental and economic goals. Focusing on responsible investing will allow us to build a great value cutting-edge portfolio.”