News | Gütersloh/Berlin, 12/15/2023
Bertelsmann Investments (BI) is investing several million euros in AENU, a climate impact technology fund focused primarily on Europe. The Berlin-based fund invests in select companies that develop impact technologies to significantly reduce CO2 or improve the well-being of a large number of people around the world. AENU was established by brothers Ferry and Fabian Heilemann, who have already invested over €50 million in sustainable business ideas with their fund.
Shobhna Mohn, Chief Strategy Officer at Bertelsmann Investments, said: “AENU’s goal is to enable its investors to have a collective effect in the impact sector by making early-stage venture capital investments in promising tech companies that achieve environmental and social progress. For Bertelsmann Investments, this is another sector in which we want to do our part in implementing sustainability approaches.”
Jan Rettel, Senior Vice President Venture Investments at Bertelsmann Investments, added: “The AENU team combines a rigorous impact investment strategy with many years of experience as founders and VC investors. This combination is what convinced us, because to achieve long-term impact on a relevant scale, impact start-ups must also be based on a viable business model.”
AENU Founder & CEO Fabian Heilemann commented: “We are very excited about Bertelsmann Investments’ participation. We see this as a great vote of confidence in our approach that investing in sustainably oriented companies on the capital market is the right way forward. Together, we are achieving a direct impact on mitigating the global climate crisis.”
AENU’s existing investors include several Single Family Offices such as E.R. Capital and tech CEOs including Lawrence Leuschner (TIER Mobility), Michael Wax (Forto Logistics), and Niklas Zennström (Skype/Atomico).
About Bertelsmann Investments
Bertelsmann Investments (BI) comprises Bertelsmann’s global venture capital activities as well as the Bertelsmann Next growth unit. The venture capital arm includes the Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI), Bertelsmann India Investments (BII) and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI) funds, as well as selected fund and direct holdings in markets including Europe, the United States, Brazil, Southeast Asia and Africa. The Bertelsmann Next unit advances the entrepreneurial development of new growth sectors and business areas, including digital health, mobile gaming and HR Tech. To date, around €1.7 billion has been invested in more than 400 innovative companies and funds through Bertelsmann Investments. Bertelsmann Investments currently holds over 300 active investments worldwide through its network of start-ups and funds.
AENU represents a new era of impact venture capitalism: Capital should be deployed to create value for tech entrepreneurs who are tackling the climate crisis and advancing social justice. The European-focused Impact Technology Fund under Article 9 of the SFDR invests in inclusive and ambitious early-stage founders developing impact technologies with the potential to reduce 100 million tons of CO2e at scale or significantly improve the well-being of 10 million people around the world.
The team is united by the goal of driving systemic change in venture capital towards impact, accessibility, and stakeholder alignment, and its impact methodology is frequently cited by experts. AENU specializes in energy transition, carbon removal, and corporate decarbonization. Recent portfolio co-investors include NEA (Minimum), USV (Xfuel), Breakthrough (ZeroAvia, Heirloom), Lowercarbon (UnDo) and Creandum (Monta).