Icelandic popstar launches venture fund

Björk has lent her name to a fund which will try to stimulate her nation’s stricken economy by investing in local businesses. The fund will be managed by female-centric financial services firm Audur.

Icelandic singer/ songwriter Björk has teamed with Audur, a female-orientated financial services group, to launch a venture capital fund. Audur has seeded the fund with an initial commitment of ISK100 million (€591,000; $823,000).

Björk: creative thinking

The fund, which will be named after the singer, has been created to invest in new ventures and small businesses with the ultimate goal of stimulating Iceland’s stricken economy, according to the firm’s website. It will invest in companies that create value “through the uniqueness of Iceland’s nature and culture”.

The credit crunch has hit the Icelandic economy hard. In October the once wealthy nation’s top three commercial banks were nationalised and the country was forced to borrow $10 billion from the International Monetary Fund.

Audur is currently seeking external investors. The firm has not disclosed a target size for the fund, but has said it will close the fund by March 2009 when it will begin investing.

Audur describes Björk the musician as “a spokeswoman for innovation, creative thinking and increased diversity in the Icelandic economy” on its website.

Audur closed its first private equity fund, the €30 million Audur 1, in February 2008. It invests growth capital in businesses owned or run by women.