Scottish tech and gaming veterans donate £1m to pioneering social fund

Chroma Ventures was established in 2021 by tech veterans Paddy Burns and Chris van der Kuyl as the broad-spectrum investment arm of their video game development studio, 4J Studios.

Based in Scotland, but with an international outlook, Chroma Ventures supports companies that develop and deploy innovative technologies and data-driven businesses.

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SIS Ventures’ Impact First launched its second fundraising round in February this year with the aim of attracting up to £5m to scale up its ‘mission-driven investing’ in high-impact start-ups.

The ‘pillar’ investment from Chroma Ventures, on top of an additional £700,000 already committed by other investors, means the fund has now exceeded its minimum target and will be making its first close within the next two months.

Van der Kuyl, Director of Chroma Ventures, said: “Since our first investment in 2019, we have been impressed with SIS Ventures’ expertise and ability to identify opportunities in businesses that will make a meaningful and positive difference in the people’s lives.

“The ambition and approach of SIS Ventures complements our desire to invest in exceptional leaders and teams, which is why we have chosen to strengthen our support through their Impact First fund.”

Jill Arnold, Head of “Impact Investor” SIS Ventures, said: “Since launching Impact First, we have maintained an unwavering belief in the potential of an impact-focused fund for the investment community. investors, which harnesses the power of business and innovation to help meet society’s greatest challenges and needs.

Paddy Burns, Chris van der Kuyl, Jill Arnold and David Ovens. Photo: Stewart Attwood

“This foundational investment from Chroma Ventures reinforces that belief and illustrates today’s investor demand for mission-aligned opportunities.

“We are very excited to work with Chris and Paddy as lead investors in the fund and hope this will encourage others to join us. Investor interest in the fund since the announcement of the second fundraising earlier this year has been very promising and we are on track to meet our target over the next two months.

SIS Ventures has already invested some £3.5m in ten high-impact, high-growth ventures.

The bosses said each company is driven by a “unique mission” including providing early diagnosis of deadly diseases such as cancer (Dxcover), tackling some of the world’s most serious online harm issues (Cyacomb , formerly Cyan Forensics), encouraging the shift to electric vehicles through on-street charging points (Trojan Energy) and revolutionizing the advertising industry as a force for good (Good-Loop).

SIS Ventures said its second venture investment program (EIS) fundraising round offers investors the opportunity to help existing Impact First grantees grow through follow-on funding rounds, as well as investing in new start-ups.

The minimum investment sought is £20,000, with each investor supporting at least eight companies over a period of seven to ten years.

SIS Ventures is a wholly owned subsidiary of Social Investment Scotland (SIS). Launched in 2018 and authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority, SIS Ventures has already raised and deployed its first £1.3m Impact First EIS funding round.

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