£5.6M from SIS Ventures supports significant impacts on people and planet
Scotland's premier impact investor, SIS Ventures, has unveiled its first impact report, showcasing the positive effects on people and the environment made by its investee companies.
Since initiating the Impact First Fund in 2018, SIS Ventures has invested over £5.6 million in 14 high-impact, high growth potential businesses, united by their belief in business as a force for good. Post-investment, these companies have collectively secured £65 million in subsequent funding rounds.
To date, on their path to realising full impact potential, SIS Ventures’ portfolio companies have:
- Created 318 jobs globally, including 149 in Scotland following investment from SIS Ventures
- Developed innovations for diagnosing and treating conditions like brain cancers, liver disease, asthma, epilepsy, and cystic fibrosis, with potential applicability to multiple other conditions
- Advanced innovations to foster positive environmental impacts in various sectors, including advertising, energy, and food and drink
Investee companies are also selected for their dedication to improving their environmental, equality and diversity, social impact, and governance practices. Forty-three percent of these companies are founded or co-founded by women, exceeding the 27% of deals involving at least one female founder reported by the British Business Bank for 2022. Additionally, 29% of these companies are founded or co-founded by individuals of colour or minoritised ethnic heritage.
SIS Ventures' Impact First fund offers investors a chance to achieve tax-efficient financial returns alongside impact returns by investing equity into Scotland-based businesses whose impact goals align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
Each business in the portfolio is driven by a unique mission, such as providing early diagnosis for diseases like cancer (Dxcover) and Parkinson’s (Manus Neurodynamica), addressing environmental issues in agriculture (Solasta Bio and Beta Bugs), promoting Electric Vehicles through on-street charging points (Trojan Energy), and transforming online advertising for social good (Good Loop).
Arran Dewar, Executive Director of SIS Ventures, stated: “At SIS Ventures we believe that impactful businesses, which combine profit with purpose, are the future and should be supported with the full power of the investor community. For a relatively young, but rapidly growing portfolio, I am particularly pleased with the steps taken by our investee companies towards commercial growth and progress on delivery of impact. This impact can be seen within Scotland, and well beyond across several continents, as products and services gain traction in widening markets, and progress is made on regulation with several jurisdictions for our life science investments. “Delivering impact through innovation takes time, as early technical and commercial milestones are key. Some of our portfolio companies are delivering impact now – others are working toward technical and commercial milestones before realising their full impact ambitions. Our unique approach to impact management ensures that we can work alongside our co-investors to help investees scale their businesses without compromising on their impact aims and ambitions.”
Cyacomb, one of SIS Ventures' earliest investments, aims to make the online world safer by developing technology that swiftly identifies harmful digital content. This technology allows agencies to rapidly and effectively find, block, and remove illegal images and videos.
Ian Stevenson, CEO of Cyacomb, said: “A lot of investors talk about ‘adding value’ to a business – I can say from experience that not all succeed. SIS Ventures has definitely added value. The processes we have been supported us through, along with their guidance, have put us in a position where we have a strong understanding of our impact. That is extremely helpful in conversations with potential future investors, whether they are impact-focused or not.”
SIS Ventures is the first Scottish investor to achieve externally verified signatory status to Operating Principles for Impact Management, implementing a leading impact management approach. This approach involves collaborating with investee management teams to embed their mission into their company Articles of Association, ensuring a symbiotic relationship between social, environmental impacts, and financial success. The mission lock also drives management teams to prioritise impact as the business scales.