Tesi’s review of sustainability in venture capital and private equity investment – Sustainability is a cornerstone of VC & PE investment, so more will be required of startups and growth financing applicants

Tesi’s review shows that startups and growth companies seeking growth financing need to address the sustainability of their operations, because all VC & PE investors evaluate the responsibility of the target companies when making investments. There is growing openness and transparency regarding sustainability, and its evaluation will become more systematic during ownership, as well.
Pia Santavirta, Tesi's CEO
Pia Santavirta, Tesi's CEO

This is Tesi’s first review of the subject. Altogether 33 Finnish general partners of venture capital and private equity funds responded to the questionnaire. This represents some 90% of the players, almost the entire market. The aim of the review was to provide an overview and offer investors comparison data to support their development efforts. The results also serve growth companies and startups as the sustainability of business operations will affect the availability of follow-on financing.

Addressing responsibility and sustainability is a cornerstone in the activities of Finnish VC & PE investors. The most widespread sustainability targets are the ESG and impact evaluations of portfolio companies, and a common theme is the wellbeing and diversity of personnel. A good 60% of VC & PE investors conduct ESG evaluations for all initial investments before the actual investment decision.

There is still much to do, though. Only slightly less than one-fifth of VC & PE investors monitor the development of sustainability in all their investments during their ownership, while almost 60% do so for some. Going forward, most VC & PE investors will conduct more systematic and more comprehensive evaluations of companies’ sustainability. This will be reflected, in practice, in selecting investees and, on the other hand, in supporting the sustainability targets of portfolio companies.

“Startups and growth companies must be prepared to address the sustainability aspects of their own business far more widely than earlier. At stake, also, is which companies will receive follow-on financing in the future,” says Tesi’s CEO Pia Santavirta.

“VC & PE investors started, quite naturally, to evaluate sustainability for their investment decisions. The evaluation of sustainability during ownership will now become widely adopted and will also require investors to be better prepared for it. Developing sustainability is value creation at its best,” comments Matias Kaila, who heads Tesi’s Fund Investments team.

Finnish VC & PE investors and sustainability

  • 94% have sustainability integrated with the company’s strategy
  • 97% have sustainability targets
  • 61% conduct an ESG evaluation before the investment decision for all initial investments, while 88% conduct an evaluation for at least some
  • 18% require monitoring from all companies of their sustainability meters, while 58% monitor at least some
  • 73% plan to start SFDR Article 8 or 9 reporting in future, while 27% currently do so

Read more



Pia Santavirta, +358 40 546 7749, pia.santavirta@tesi.fi
Matias Kaila, +358 40 720 1324, matias.kaila@tesi.fi
Susanna Aaltonen, +358 40 593 4221, susanna.aaltonen@tesi.fi, Communications Director


Pia Santavirta, Tesi's CEO
Pia Santavirta, Tesi's CEO
Matias Kaila, Director of Tesi's Fund Investments team
Matias Kaila, Director of Tesi's Fund Investments team

About Tesi

Porkkalankatu 1
00180 Helsinki

Tesi wants to raise Finland to the forefront of transformative economic growth. We develop the market, and work for the success of Finnish growth companies. We invest in private equity and venture capital funds, and also directly in growth companies. We provide long-running support, market insights, patient capital, and skilled ownership. tesi.fi | Twitter | LinkedInNewsletter 


Tesi’s background:

  • A venture capital and private equity company founded in 1995
  • Officially Finnish Industry Investment Ltd
  • 100% owned by the Finnish state
  • Investments under management EUR 2.4 billion (30.6.2022)
  • EUR 11 billion in net sales and more than 70,000 jobs in Finland through those growth companies that have received financing directly from Tesi or indirectly through its portfolio funds

Subscribe to releases from Tesi

Subscribe to all the latest releases from Tesi by registering your e-mail address below. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Latest releases from Tesi

Finland joins NATO Innovation Fund – Tesi invests EUR 35 million in the fund17.5.2023 02:00:00 EEST | Press release

Finland’s accession to NATO opens up new opportunities for Finnish early-stage startups. Finland’s application to NATO's Innovation Fund has been approved, and Tesi will make a EUR 35 million investment in the fund. This also provides a new gateway to cooperation and financing opportunities for Finnish startups developing nascent technologies and for venture capital and private equity funds investing in them.

Hanne Stenman appointed the General Counsel of Tesi and a member of the Management Team20.4.2023 08:15:00 EEST | Press release

LL.M. Hanne Stenman has been appointed the General Counsel of Tesi (Finnish Industry Investment Ltd), a member of the Management Team and the Secretary of Tesi’s Board of Directors. She will report to the CEO Pia Santavirta. Hanne will head Tesi’s Legal & Compliance team, wherein she has worked for the past three years supporting the investment teams in legal matters. ”I’m excited to have been offered the position of General Counsel and I am eager to collaborate with the talented professionals at Tesi. Given my background in transactions and corporate law, I believe it serves as a valuable foundation for this role. I’m grateful for all the support and the confidence I have received,” comments Hanne Stenman. “I have received lots of superb feedback about Hanne’s contributions for Tesi. That is why I’m delighted that we can appoint a new member of Management Team from within the house when an opportunity to do so arose. I congratulate Hanne for her new role, and I’m excited to continue w

In our pressroom you can read all our latest releases, find our press contacts, images, documents and other relevant information about us.

Visit our pressroom