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.

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.


Featured articles

All news
January 24, 2023
min read

2023 Technology Forecast: OpenOcean Technology and Investment Predictions to Watch

The final months of 2022 were a reality check for investors and tech companies due to the forecasted impending recession and falling valuations. Despite the challenging tone set for 2023, there are plenty of growth opportunities in fields such as ESG investments, AI, and enterprise automation. At OpenOcean have identified key technologies and developments to watch in the data, software, and technology spheres.
December 22, 2022
min read

Where to find alpha in the post-covid era? Macro and market update Q4 2022

Our Investor Relations Director, Naureen Zahid, has written a detailed article on the market turmoil of 2022 and how this has impacted the investment approach of both GPs and LPs. Geopolitical and macroeconomic factors caused significant financial market turmoil in 2022, triggering soaring global inflation, which has had a significant impact on both public and private market investments.
December 19, 2022
min read

IPO: MariaDB lands on the New York Stock Exchange

MariaDB's listing on the New York Stock Exchange is a milestone moment – our founding of the company in 2010, and our investments in the company are a milestone – representing the team's culmination of 12 years of hard work and innovation.