Boudewijn Poelmann, founder of the Postcode Lottery, continues his mission to make the world a better place. Under the name Phase2.earth, he and three (former) employees of Novamedia have founded an impact investment fund, inspired by Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammed Yunus.
In the next eight years, this fund will invest in social and community organisations that launch powerful and compassionate products and services. The fund also wants to help bring these 'companies with a soul' to market successfully.
Shareholders in the new impact investing fund include Novamedia, Feste Investments of Joop van den Ende and Cella Media of Boudewijn Poelmann and Annemiek Hoogenboom. An Investment Committee, chaired by former minister Cees Veerman, advises and decides on the investments.
Boudewijn Poelmann: "I am a great admirer of Professor Muhammed Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize winner, for his efforts to enable economic and social developments from the bottom up. He encourages people to always stay active and calls this phase of life after retirement: 'phase two'. A second phase, in which you are free and do the things you always wanted to do. That stimulated me to fulfil my wish to make companies with a social mission, such as contributing to the energy transition, successful. I am very much looking forward to focusing on this with Phase2.earth."
Sustainable energy an important focus
The impact investment fund focuses on active portfolio management, whereby in addition to the financial contribution it also actively strengthens and supports the management regarding the marketing of the products and services. Sustainable energy will be an important focus, preferably consumer-oriented, as this will bring about a mental change at the same time.
The Investment Committee, consisting of four external experts, decides on the purchase or sale of participations. It consists of Cees Veerman (chairman), Ruud Koornstra, Joop Drechsel and Petra Vernooij.
Scale-up vs start-up
In addition to being the founder of the Postcode Lottery, Poelmann was also the founder and namesake of Stichting DOEN, the fund of the Goede Doelen Loterijen. DOEN primarily provides grants to smaller innovative organisations and projects and is also one of the Dutch pioneers in the field of impact investing. Under the motto 'subsidies where necessary, investments where possible', DOEN made its first investments in sustainable businesses over 25 years ago.
DOEN Participaties, the social investment company of Stichting DOEN, has since grown into the largest impact investor in sustainable and social startups in the Netherlands. DOEN Participaties focuses mainly on startups, Phase2.earth invests in companies that are in a later phase of their development.
With a minority share, Novamedia is one of the investors and is not part of the organisation of this new impact fund. Novamedia focuses on social impact and has committed to this new fund for a maximum of €21.5 million. Contributions will be made available after a positive assessment by the Investment Committee. This initiative does not involve any financial resources from the Lotteries affiliated with Novamedia.
Phase2.earth will be based at Villa Boekesteyn in 's-Gravenland, Noordereinde 56, from 2021.