Esgaia founders Simon Kristiansson, Anton Ljung and Frida Femling. Photographer: Annika Derwinger Falkuggla.
The fintech startup, Esgaia, has launched its platform for sustainable investments and large institutional investors in Sweden, Norway and in the UK are already using it. Wellstreet Fintech Fund I is now investing in the company.
Sustainability has come to be one of the highest priorities for institutional investors. The majority of all financial products will focus on sustainability in 2022, and eight out of ten investors plan to invest solely in ESG products the same year. ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Governance, and is referred to synonymously as sustainability in many cases. The fastest-growing strategy within ESG is active ownership, which is the use of ownership to influence a portfolio company's operations and behavior.
Esgaia has built a platform to help investors consider and mitigate sustainability risks in portfolio companies. Esgaia lowers the barriers for active ownership through automated processes that enable easier collaboration and increased transparency between stakeholders. This allows more capital to drive change in companies that need to be restructured, which is a critical component to achieving global sustainable transformation.
The company was founded by Anton Ljung, Frida Femling and Simon Kristiansson. Anton has a background in fund management and sustainable investments, Frida possesses expertise in computer engineering and has experience from previous entrepreneurial endeavors, and Simon specializes in IT architecture and web development.
Esgaia has developed its platform together with some of the largest institutional investors in Sweden. Last year, the platform was in beta under the name “Acty”, and investors with more than €235 million in assets under management (AUM) have already signed up to the platform. Clients include Storebrand Asset Management and Länsförsäkringar, among others.
The platform is now available globally, and to scale up and accelerate Esgaia's development, the venture capitalist, Wellstreet, has invested. Esgaia will be the first investment in Wellstreet Fintech Fund I.
“It is inspiring to work with institutional investors who are leading the way in this area. With the right tools and strategies, they have tremendous potential to make a difference. We are delighted to have Wellstreet on board on this journey to become the market-leading active ownership platform,” says Anton Ljung, co-founder and CEO of Esgaia.
“Like many others, I invest in funds for the short and long term. For me, it is important that the funds I invest in perform as well as possible without the trade-off of being sustainable. Here is where I see Esgaia doing something meaningful, which they have proven by establishing their platform with credible fund companies in a short period. Esgaia is built for the global market and I look forward to launching this platform internationally with the team,” says Armando Coppola, Partner and Fund Manager at Wellstreet.