ESG and Sustainable Finance

OpenOcean invests responsibly while following our investment strategy and we ensure that our own house is in order regarding ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance).

  • For several years we’ve recognized the key role that improvement of ESG matters means for long-term value creation.
  • We evaluate ESG and sustainability risks and opportunities in our investment decision making and due diligence processes.
  • Within our portfolio we set clear expectations on how to promote corporate and social responsibility and we support our portfolio companies building the leading responsible employers of the future by providing guidance.

We believe that ESG is crucial for us to succeed in our mission. Teams that promote corporate responsibility, are serious about diversity, and take good care of their employees deliver superior results for investors. Ultimately we want to establish OpenOcean as a role model for startups, our portfolio companies, and other investors.

In our investment portfolio, great examples are companies like Booksy, who was named one of America’s Best Startup Employers in 2020, and Unacast, who has for a long time been a forerunner in data privacy policies.

Our policies

For information on how we integrate sustainability risks in our investment decision‐making process and how we promote ESG, please see our following policies here.

ESG in our own shop

We’ve adopted the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact and we support the Six Principles of United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment. We also adhere to the G20/OECD Principles of Corporate Governance.

Furthermore, we’re members of the Finnish Venture Capital Association (FVCA), which means that we support and act in accordance with their standards and guidelines. Within the FVCA, we are active contributors to the recently established ESG Working Group.

We take social responsibility and diversity seriously and all new OpenOcean employees are educated in ESG. We also discuss these important topics and principles regularly for example at our team meetings.

OpenOcean is proudly a carbon neutral firm.  

ESG in our investment process

We keep ESG related issues in our mind during all stages of the investment process, but when a company enters the “Evaluation” stage there’s a formal Deal Evaluation Matrix that must be completed. The evaluation matrix contains various aspects that predict startup success, such as scalability, unit economics, market size, team composition — and ESG matters.

ESG is also examined in the Confirmatory Due Diligence phase of the investment process (i.e. a term sheet has already been signed) and that’s when we really dig deep into the fundamentals of a company from a technical, financial, HR, and legal viewpoint, often assisted by external experts and advisors.

ESG when working with our portfolio companies

We have seen first-hand how teams that promote corporate responsibility, are serious about diversity and inclusion, and take good care of their employees deliver superior results for investors. For instance, in all of our most successful businesses and investments, including MySQL, MariaDB, Nokia Interactive Advertising, Truecaller, Supermetrics, we have seen how extremely diverse teams (gender, nationality, language, skillset/background, etc.) perform better.

We aim to set clear expectations on how to promote corporate and social responsibility within all our portfolio companies and to support them by providing guidance and tools. Most often we do this by being active members in the board of directors and we make sure that ESG is regularly discussed in each board that we are members of.

Each year we send an ESG questionnaire to our portfolio companies. The purpose is to ensure that ESG matters are high on the management agendas and to measure the status and progress of ESG across our portfolio. ESG progress on the portfolio level is reported to our investors (LPs) and other stakeholders in our annual ESG report.

Whistleblowing channel

OpenOcean has adopted a Whistleblower channel in accordance with the Act on the Protection of whistleblowers and Directive (EU) 2019/1937 on the protection of persons who report breaches of European Union law. Our employees and third-parties (e.g. suppliers and customers) can access the channel here to anonymously submit the report referred to in the act.

No consideration of sustainability adverse impacts

While we do integrate sustainability risks in our investment decision-making process, OpenOcean does not consider the adverse impacts of its investment decisions on sustainability factors under Article 4(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 for the time being. OpenOcean is closely following the legislative process and currently the technical standards for disclosing sustainability-related information under the Sustainable Finance Disclosures Regulation (SFDR) have not yet been adopted by the legislators. Once the Delegated Regulation specifying the technical standards of SFDR is applied to the financial market participants, OpenOcean shall re-evaluate whether or not it will consider the adverse impacts of its investment decisions on sustainability factors under Article 4(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) 2019/2088.


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