Björk, the Icelandic singer known for her quirky tunes and eccentric couture, now has a venture capital fund named after her. That’s right, the woman who dressed up like a swan at the Oscars in 2001 (parodied on Saturday Night Live here) is hoping to lay a golden egg, according to the New York Times.
Audur Capital, a female-founded firm in Reykjavík, Iceland, aims to mix feminine values with finance. The Björk fund is intended “for investors seeking investment opportunities in new venture creation and the business development of small companies with the objective of catalyzing the recovery of the Icelandic economy,” says Audur’s web site. The company will invest 100 million kronur (about $832,000) in early-stage, socially and environmentally conscious businesses that celebrate Iceland’s unique landscape and culture.
Audur, which focuses on companies run by women or those tailored to female customers, plans to close investments by March 2009. The majority of its employees are women (and I’ve never seen so many umlauts on a company roster before).
Björk (this singer) has been incredibly outspoken about politics, the environment and feminism in her music. Controversy erupted when she dedicated the song “Declare Independence” to Greenland and the Faroe Islands, as well as the people of Kosovo and Tibet (how versatile). “Nattura,” a song she recorded with Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, was released on iTunes to benefit the environmental nonprofit of same name. Now she wants Iceland — a country which went bankrupt this fall — to promote green businesses instead of aluminum smelters and factories.
The fund, while not the first thing I’d associate with Björk (my first encounter involved her crooning “It’s Oh So Quiet” to a Kristi Yamaguchi figure-skating routine), aligns with her personal philosophy and hope for Iceland’s future. As for the infamous swan dress, it was auctioned off on eBay in 2005 for charity through Oxfam. Below is my favorite Saturday Night Live Björk-themed skit. She truly is an iconoclast.