Since 2018, our micro-VC fund, Design to Improve Life Fund (DTIL Fund), has invested in 12 forward-thinking companies from the Index Award pipeline. Today, we’re incredibly thrilled to announce the closing of our second fund with over €1 million to continue helping life-improving designs to scale genuine impact on people and the planet.
In the new investment cycle, the DTIL Fund II aims to financially and strategically support the most innovative and sustainable design solutions from the 2019 Index Award entrants. We continue seeking to invest in 10 to 12 companies across the globe from pre-seed to Series C+ stages, addressing global challenges including the SDGs. Additionally, we’ll co-invest with international investors and VC funds who share the same vision.
The DTIL Fund II has completed the first four investments over the past 16 months. Within the next two and half years, we expect to support eight more companies. From DNA-based data storage to reactive food expiry labelling, we’re excited to unlock the potential of our four new portfolio companies.
- Spot (US): An AI reporting bot addressing workplace harassment.
- CATALOG (US): the world’s first cost-effective DNA-based platform for massive digital data storage.
- Mimica Lab (UK): a new generation reactive food expiry labelling that enables people to reduce food waste by sensing food freshness through touch.
- ExSeed Health (UK/DK): A smart sperm testing device to improve men’s fertility health from the comfort of home.
”The objective of the fund is investing into scalable companies that will not only benefit society and the environment but will also generate good financial returns.”
“We greatly appreciate the support from The Index Project through the DTIL Fund, as it allowed us to close our last funding round and accelerate our efforts in bringing our innovative digital healthcare platform to more markets in the world,” commented Morten Gorm Ulsted, CEO of ExSeed Health. “Their vision aligns perfectly with that of ExSeed as we’re working relentlessly on democratising access to healthcare all over the globe.”
Over the past two years, our first DTIL Fund supported a variety of exceptional companies with a diverse group of visionary investors. To name a few, Zipline, a life-saving drone delivery service of critical medical supplies across remote Africa and Japan; Seaborg Technologies, a sustainable, safe and cheap nuclear technology of tomorrow; and Ananas Anam, the company behind the pineapple leaf-based fabric, Piñatex. Across all the portfolio investments, we’re glad to see that 42% of our limited partners are female investors and 44% of the total Fund capital comes from female limited partnerships.
"As a design-led impact company, it means a lot to have the backing of such a unique fund focused on exactly these things. We have a totally values-aligned investor in the Design to Improve Life Fund," says Solveiga Pakštaitė, Founder & Director of Mimica Lab.
“The objective of the fund is investing into scalable companies that will not only benefit society and the environment but will also generate good financial returns,” says Liza Chong, representing Design to Improve Life Capital Management Aps.
“Our funds not only support the scaling of solutions to improve life for people and planet but those returns are reinvested back to The Index Project to further grow the pipeline of a new generation of design to improve life, thus creating a regenerative loop.”
To learn more about the Design to Improve Life Fund I & II, as well as our portfolio companies and fun(d) news, check out our investment page.