Skagerak Capital and several board members of Powered by Telemark have worked throughout 2023 to establish a regional commercial growth fund for Telemark and Vestfold.
"The goal is to ensure that seed and growth companies in the region have access to the necessary capital," says Espen Kjeldsen, responsible partner for Friar Venture at Skagerak Capital at Herøya Industrial Park.
The new fund is named Friar Venture.
Friar Venture leads the way
Unfortunately, mobilising private capital for early stage and growth companies in the region has been challenging, but Skagerak Capital and its partners received positive signals from various investors, including Sparebankstiftelsen Sparebanken Sør and Sparebanken Sør.
"With the investor and partner Telemark Utviklingsfond on board, we see responsible community actors leading the way to ensure that early stage and growth companies in our region have access to the necessary capital. The fund is now at 75 million NOK, but the goal is to double the investment capital," says Espen Kjeldsen.
Significant need for growth capital
There is a significant need for more capital for growth companies in Telemark and Vestfold. Growth companies create new jobs, and we need that in our region.
The fund will be managed by Skagerak Capital, with Espen Kjeldsen as the lead partner, and will be organised according to fund models used elsewhere in the country.
"The establishment of the fund represents an important step in strengthening the region's business and innovation," say the parties involved in Friar Venture.
Triggers other privat capital
Jørn Roar Bamle, CEO of the industrial incubator Proventia, states that the new fund is highly relevant for several of the companies in Proventia's portfolio.
"A professional community that excels in this type of investment is important to establish in our region. Support from Friar Venture is a welcome early-stage capital for our incubator companies. Hopefully, it will make it easier to trigger other private capital."
Objectives of Friar Venture
- The fund will invest in early-stage and growth companies with significant international ambitions and clear market opportunities.
- The fund aims to double its capital raising.
- The fund aims for an annual return of 8-15%.
- The fund aims to secure existing jobs and facilitate the creation of new ones.
- The fund will have clear ethical guidelines and specific objectives to contribute to achieving the UN's sustainable development goals.
Read more about Skagerak Capital.
05. December 2023