Social Impact Venture Capital will play a transformative role in the future of our society to solve the most challenging social and environmental issues. Traditionally, the field of impact investment has not been the hot spot in venture capital, but that is not the case anymore. In 2020, the global impact investing market reached roughly US$715 billion in assets under management, according to Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN). Using the power of money to accomplish social good is the trend of the moment, and Impact investment is capturing the growing attention of mainstream investors.
The GIIN defines impact investments as investments made with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. In general, impact investing funds can invest in different asset classes. In this article, we focus on social impact venture capital firms making impact investments in private markets, particularly investing in companies tackling big health and social problems.
How we define a Social Impact Venture Capital?
In our list, Social Impact Venture Capital Funds have been selected through a set of criteria based on the self-reported mission statement of the investor. These include:
- The investor having a dedicated fund with the intention to generate a social impact alongside with a financial return.
- The investor having a particular focus on women or underrepresented founders.
- The investor having a specific focus on startups that tackle big social and health problems.
Find the Right Investor
We hope our list will help you identify potential investors to fund your startup. However, it is also important to research the right investors for your business and tailor your pitch to them. Various social impact Venture Capital firms focus on different geographic locations, industries, and startup stages. So, before pitches, you need to research their investment strategy first to learn more about the investor. Furthermore, you can also use specific selection criteria to qualify the investor’s interests. These include:
- Target investment Stages, such as Seed, Pre-Series A or Series A.
- Target and Active Markets – Global or having a specific region focus
- Target Investment Size
- Target Sectors
Top Social Impact VC You Should Know
1. Rethink Capital Partners
Rethink Capital Partners (RCP) is a leading US Venture Capital Firm Investing in Female Leaders Using Tech to Tackle Global Challenges! RCP is an investment platform for impact, rethinking the role private capital plays in helping address systemic inequality and injustice while seeking to deliver competitive returns.
Launched in 2010 by Rick Segal and Michael Walden, Rethink Capital Partners is Seavest Investment Group’s impact investing platform that has launched four investment strategies since its inception, including Rethink Education, Rethink Impact, Rethink Food and Rethink Community. They invest in early scalable technology companies led by female founders that are helping to solve the biggest issues of our time.
Click here to view Rethink Capital Partner’s Investor Profile.
2. Impact Engine
The mission of Impact Engine is to bring more capital to a market where financial returns are linked to positive social and environmental impacts. They have invested in 27.5% Economic Empowerment, 25% Education, 20% Environmental Sustainability, and 27.5% Health-focused companies, with 38% of those companies led by women CEOs and 25% by CEOs of color. The team manages funds for institutions and individuals that invest in for-profit, positive-impact businesses in private markets, and bring the community together in service of building the impact investing field.
3. Social Impact Capital
Social Impact Capital is an early-stage venture capital firm based in New York City that invests entrepreneurs worldwide. The Social Impact Capital is a generalist fund, investing in the “best ideas in impact” where the driver of the business is a social good. Our investments aim to produce venture capital returns by employing technology to solve the world’s most challenging and entrenched problems.
4. Better Ventures
Better Ventures backs entrepreneurs building a better world. They provide funding and support to early-stage technology companies pursuing social and environmental objectives with high-growth business models. They invest $100-250k at the seed stage, get actively involved with the founders to help them build successful companies, and provide larger follow-on investments through Series A and beyond.
5. Ascension Ventures
Ascension Ventures is an early-stage VC built by exited entrepreneurs to back the next generation of tech and impact founders. They have backed 100+ tech startups to date through their S)EIS & Institutional Funds. Their Life Sciences Fund is targeting Seed, Seed+, and pre-series A opportunities in biotech, digital health, and genomics space.
6. Ananda Impact Ventures
Ananda Impact Ventures is one of the leading impact investors in Europe. They typically invest in companies that address social challenges in vital areas such as education, health, consumption, and aging population. Ananda manages 80 Mn. EUR and is proud to partner with some of the leading investors across Europe – from entrepreneurs and families to traditional VCs.
7. Bethnal Green Ventures
Bethnal Green Ventures is Europe’s leading early-stage tech for good VC. They back ambitious founders using technology to tackle big social and environmental problems that aim to radically improve millions of lives.
8. Impact Investment Group
Impact Investment Group is a leading Australian Impact Funds Manager, with investments in Renewable Energy, Real Estate, and Venture Capital. Their VC division is dedicated to investing in exceptional, rapidly scalable impact businesses. Since 2013, IIG has made investments in early-stage businesses that share its values and have great business potential.
After seeing numerous impact startups with strong potential, IIG established a dedicated venture fund in 2016 called the Giant Leap Fund. The Fund is Australia’s first 100% impact venture capital fund, designed to meet investor demand for attractive risk-adjusted financial returns as well as measurable social and environmental outcomes.
9. Vital Capital
Vital Capital is a leading impact investment, private equity fund focused on sub-Saharan Africa. Since its inception in 2011, the Fund’s impact-driven investing has delivered essential development impact to millions of individuals in low and middle-income communities.
10. UBERIS Capital
UBERIS is a venture catalyst firm investing and assisting the next generation of exceptional entrepreneurs who are designing and executing innovative business models to profitably serve the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) & the Planet in Southeast Asia.
Operating in Smart Agriculture, Access to Energy & Clean Water, Waste Recycling, Women Empowerment and Mobile Platforms, they invests in entrepreneurs use smart technologies to break traditional market boundaries and disrupt established supply chains models.
Here is the Ultimate Social Impact Venture Capital List
See All Investors’ Profile in Our Database