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Einride, Bolt-backer NordicNinja closes €200M Fund II to back impactful early-stage startups

NordicNinja team
Picture credits: NordicNinja

NordicNinja is a venture capital investor that merges European founders and Japan’s hunger for digital innovation. Now, the VC has announced the close of its second €200 million fund to continue with its commitments to investing in climate and deep technologies that create a more equitable, sustainable future. It aims to invest in climate and deep tech technology startups as the team expands into London and Stockholm (from Helsinki).

The cornerstone investor in this fund is Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC), a Japanese public financial institution represented in 18 countries around the world. The fund was also contributed by European investors – BaltCap and Swedbank pension funds and Japanese investors – Honda and Omron, who also invested in Fund I. 

Focuses on early-stage founders

With Fund II, NordicNinja will continue to invest in early-stage founders driving impactful change in sustainability and the digital society. The Japanese VC invests in building companies that sit at this intersection and which are tackling the world’s biggest problems with a focus on climate tech, deeptech and digital society.  

Marek Kiisa, Managing Partner at NordicNinja, said: “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%.”

Shinichi Nikkuni, Managing Partner at NordicNinja, said: “At NordicNinja, we’re looking for founding teams creating companies that have the potential to become leaders in their fields, solving the most pressing global challenges such as climate change and healthcare crisis. This takes more than just capital. Collaboration on a global scale is at the heart of this fund, building bridges of knowledge, experience and ambition so that we can become greater than the sum of our parts and create a better world to live in for all.

Tomosaku Sohara, Managing Partner at NordicNinja, noted: “Thousands of kilometres apart, Japan and Europe have much in common. Both have company-building legacies, an appetite for innovation and 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.”

Rainer Sternfeld, Managing Partner at NordicNinja, added: “As former founders and operators, we know first-hand the difficulties in building and scaling technology businesses – particularly those in the difficult areas of digitalisation of established industries, digital society, and climate tech. Additionally, building a bridge between Japan and Europe serves our long-term mission of investing in the future we want to live in.”

Notably investments in Fund I

From its €101 million Fund I, NordicNinja invested in companies that transformed industries including Bolt, Einride, Veriff, Voi, Starship, Mavenoid, Pactum, Varjo, and more. To date, NordicNinja has made 20 investments, three of which have achieved unicorn status, with a handful showing similar potential. Notably, 50% of its first fund’s investments are in mobility and transportation, an industry with a massive carbon footprint. 

Besides mobility, the VC invested in technologies such as climate action toolkits for cities, AI-driven identity verification, mixed reality headsets training astronauts for their Mars mission and end-to-end transparency of sensitive supply chains.

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