Nordic financial services group SEB announced the formation of a new unit, SEB Greentech, that will invest venture capital in green technology, focusing on Nordic companies within the sector. The company also announced that it has hired Markus Hökfelt to head the new unit. Hökfelt is joining SEB from Almi Invest, where he is currently Fund Manager for Almi Invest’s GreenTech fund.

SEB stated that the new unit will start out with SEK 300m in investment capital, with an ambition to grow to SEK 1b over time. According to SEB, the formation of the unit addresses a need in the industry for venture capital in the green technology sector, as investments in this area often take longer to develop and mature than traditional venture-capital investments.

SEB President and CEO Johan Torgeby said:

“This is an expression of our ambition to contribute to a sustainable transition. It is critical that young greentech companies gain access to funding at an early stage so they can realise the creation of technologies, products and services that can benefit society, our customers and shareholders.”

The new SEB Greentech unit will invest primarily in companies that develop solutions which can improve the use of natural resources and reduce negative ecological impacts in a decisive way, such as renewable energy, energy storage, water and agricultural technology, circular business models and waste management.

Hökfelt said:

“With SEB Greentech and other platforms, the bank now has the entirely right tools to invest private equity that creates long-term value for companies in this sector.”

Sara Öhrvall, Chief Digital, Customer Experience and Communications Officer at SEB, has overall responsibility for the sustainability transition at the company. Öhrvall said:

“We believe we can contribute with capital to an area that is important for society and in which Sweden can build a strong position as we have exciting entrepreneurs within green technology.

“There is also value for the bank’s customers in being closer to the technological development that is taking place to contribute to the climate transition, and it is also an opportunity to transfer competence within the sustainability area to the bank.”