United Bankers Plc has announced that it will operate as a partnering agency for EduImpact Fund, a VC fund that will invest in Finnish and Nordic innovative education sector startup companies and early-stage growth companies. UB Fund Management Company Ltd as a subsidiary of United Bankers Plc will serve as a partner in sales and administrative tasks.
EduImpact Venture Capital Ltd is a venture capital company whose EduImpact Fund will focus on financing innovative education sector startup companies and early growth stage companies. The aim of EduImpact is to improve internationalization, scalability and revenue growth of these education sector companies. Impact investment methods will play a focal role. They encourage companies to measure the positive social impact of education sector innovations and therefore contribute to international marketability of these products and services. As an operating partner for Eduimpact in making target companies internationally scalable will be xEdu, which is one of the most prestigious education sector startup accelerators in Europe.
"The idea of EduImpact Venture Capital is based on the education sector accelerator xEdu's persistent development work and the major finance bottleneck that especially Finnish internationalizing and growing education sector companies are facing. Inspired by examples of international funds, an idea emerged to establish a venture capital fund by Finnish resources in order to make investments in the most potential seed and growth stage companies in the education sector. In the USA and in China finance of similar companies has already seen enormous growth for a while and in 2018 these VC investments are expected to double to reach a level of 8 billion euros. Just now in Europe, especially the business potential and investment opportunities in education technology have started to become recognized. Finland is the global superpower of learning and education. It would, therefore, be nearly a national shame if particularly this country lacked talent and finance for taking over the global markets with the best education sector growth innovations in an impactful way," says Marko Kyyrönen, CEO of EduImpact.
Other key personnel such as Antti Korhonen and Monika Kivimäki as well as board members Janne Rainvuori and Oskari Lehtonen are experienced professionals who come from the fields of education, private equity and financial law. EduImpact also has a very effective venture capital advisor team. For example Mika Pyykkö, the project director of impact investing program in Sitra, Elise Tarvainen, a professional in education export and pedagogy, Saga Forss, a corporate finance professional, Pekka Mattila, Aalto University professor and CEO of Aalto Executive Education, and robotics professional Katriina Valli.
At the moment there are already 200 education sector and especially education technology ("EdTech") startup and growth companies on the "radar" of EduImpact Venture Capital. Common for them is international growth together with social impact. Business ideas and products will always involve learning in some form. Startup and growth companies that we have already found are providing solutions to improve learning outcomes, reduce and tackle bullying, develop school system and environment and to enhance skills in many other ways.
EduImpact Fund LP is Europe's first venture capital impact fund that will invest in growth companies within the industry of education technology. The major focus lies on Finland and other Nordic countries which have internationally recognized high standards of learning, pedagogical and technological abilities. EduImpact Fund LP will be governed by EduImpact Venture Capital Ltd, a Finnish FSA-registered alternative investment treasurer that is owned by its key personnel. Investment activities of EduImpact Fund LP will be supported by a network of prestigious talents whose expertise covers venture capital, impact investing and education sector. In its investment activities, EduImpact will practice the principles of impact investing without compromising market-based return requirements. One of the most prestigious education sector accelerators in Europe, xEdu, will operate as a partner for EduImpact.
United Bankers briefly:
United Bankers Plc is a Finnish investment services group that was established in 1986. The UB group operates in the business areas of asset management, brokerage, investment banking and fund management. In asset management, the UB group has specialized in real asset investment solutions. The UB group is mainly owned by its key personnel and there are currently 138 employees and 32 sales agents. In 2017 United Bankers had a revenue of 25,0 million euros and profit of 3,6 million euros. Assets under management are circa 2,9 billion euros (6/2018). The company has been listed to First North Finland public exchange since November 2014. The Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority will monitor activities of the company.