Iceland Venture Studio, the first fund devoted to the Icelandic tech startup community, has raised $2 million, adding to its initial $1 million fundraise last year. While dedicated to enriching the Icelandic startup ecosystem, the firm is location-agnostic when it comes to investments. Its six portfolio companies hail from Iceland, Silicon Valley, Israel and India.

We want to leverage the country of Iceland to solve global problems partnering with global founders,” says IVS founder Bala Kamallakharan, who also founded Startup Iceland and has been investing in the country for over a decade. “Iceland is perfect to test and validate the early risks of startups like product development, team development and product-market fit.”

Follow-on investments have recently been made in Flow, which is developing immersive VR-enhanced meditation programs, and RetinaRisk, an algorithm that predicts diabetic retinopathy years in advance.

“The new investment of $500,000 into Flow will allow us to continue our journey of bringing meditation to not just the corporate world, but also to individuals who want to partake of guided meditation enhanced with VR, carefully curated music and nature straight from Iceland,” says Kristín Hrefna Halldórsdóttir, the startup’s CEO. 

RetinaRisk received the same amount. CEO Sigurbjörg Ásta Jónsdóttir commented: “These new funds will be especially valuable as we seek to make our app also available to developing countries, where easy access to health care can be severely limited by geography.”

The fresh capital will support the current portfolio as well as new founding teams, and the fund will continue to raise money as needed. When asked about how this second raise garnered twice the money in half the time, Bala replied: “Investors in IVS saw the quality of the teams, the problems that they were tackling and the speed at which the risks were mitigated in Iceland once the investments were made and Iceland Venture Studio got involved.”

Photo: founder Bala Kamallakharan

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