Finding impact focused investors
At Rocketmakers, we like to make a difference to people’s lives with the software we build and work on projects covering a wide range of different sectors, from elite sport and medical systems to sustainable energy and fair trade travel. Our mission is to have had a direct, positive and meaningful impact on the lives of millions of people through our technology in the next 10 years.
It has been great to observe the positive effects of the rise in impact investing, it’s heartening to see that in 2019 impact investing reached a staggering market size of over £400bn. These investments are being made into startups and scaleups that have the intention to generate a positive, social or environmental impact alongside financial return.
Knowing that there is a growing local community of start-up companies and entrepreneurs who are providing innovative solutions that have a positive impact, we have pulled together a list of UK-based organisations that provide investment and support specifically for projects for good.
These are our favourite discoveries:
The AiiM Partners Fund invests in companies that solve complex social and environmental issues. Their investments address climate change through the lens of oceans and their interdependencies with land, air, and energy systems. Women founders and CEOs form 64% of the AiiM Partners Fund assets; ethnic minority founders and CEOs, 59%. aiimpartners.com
Bethnal Green Ventures
Bethnal Green Ventures (BGV) is a London based B-Corp offering a minimum of £30,000 and a maximum of £100,000 investment to start ups in the early stages of growth. BGV looks to invest in ideas that will create a sustainable planet, a better society, and healthy lives. They offer their portfolio companies a tailored three-month programme of workshops, talks, and 1:1 mentoring, plus access to connections and life-long support. bethnalgreenventures.com
Bridges Fund Management Ltd.
Bridges Fund Management was founded nearly 20 years ago and has been investing in solutions that support the transition to a more inclusive and sustainable economy. They believe that building a better future for people and the planet is also a unique opportunity to create lasting economic value. They invest in growth businesses who aim to create healthier lives, future skills, a sustainable planet, and stronger communities. They provide hands-on support from an experienced investment team and access to a network of sector specialists. They are better suited to those looking for larger investment with a minimum of £2,000,000 and a maximum of £20,000,000. bridgesfundmanagement.com
Carbon13 is the venture builder for the climate emergency. They bring together talented founders with experts, experienced entrepreneurs and investors to build and invest in ventures that can make a significant impact on CO2 emissions. You can apply for investment even without an idea or a business – their process supports you to team up with a complementary founder, ideate and validate, find customers and then, once they’ve invested in you, prepare to build a lasting and fast-scaling venture. carbonthirteen.com
Originally founded in 2008, ClearlySo is based in London, and works exclusively with enterprises and funds delivering positive social, ethical, and/or environmental impact. ClearlySo has access to a network of institutional investors from across Europe and high-net-worth individuals from the UK which it uses to help enterprises in transactions ranging from £2 million to £30 million. The organisation has supported and informed thousands of other businesses and individuals about impact investing through events, advisory sessions and reports. clearlyso.com
Fair By Design
The Fair By Design Fund is an early stage fund managed by Ascension Ventures offering investment between £50,000 to £400,000. They invest in organisations fighting "poverty premium" such as inequalities in financial and digital inclusion, food, fair credit, transport, insurance and energy. ascensionventures.com/fair-by-design-fund
Good Food Fund
The Good Food Fund is a new venture fund and accelerator backing healthier food and drink brands tackling childhood obesity. The fund provides business support and finance to founders committed to democratising access to healthier food products and environments for families on lower incomes. The Good Food Fund is managed by Ascension Ventures and it can lead rounds or do co-investments with others. ascensionventures.com/good-food-fund
LBS Student Impact Investment Fund
Founded in 2018, Student Impact Investment Fund (SIIF) is a student-led group at the London Business School representing one of the first impact funds at a graduate business program in the U.K. SIIF’s investment teams are comprised of graduate business students under leadership from second-year MBA’s. They are looking to invest in entrepreneurs with a strong desire to make a social impact and start-ups with a minimum viable product/service with demonstrated market traction (e.g., customer usage or existing revenues.) siif-lbs.com
Lightrock have been investing since 2007 with over 60 portfolio companies. They partner with purpose-driven entrepreneurs who work within their three impact themes: people, planet, and productivity. They invest in various sectors such as health and wellbeing, education, sustainable food and agriculture and others. lightrock.com
Sky Ocean Ventures
Sky Ocean Ventures is investing £25 million in innovations to end the devastating flow of plastic into the sea, across the world. They’re looking to invest in transformational products and solutions that can change the way millions of people live, enabling us all to use less plastic and recycle more. So far, they have supported 20 high-potential ideas. skygroup.sky/skyoceanventures
Venture Studio from Crisis
Venture Studio from Crisis exists to invest in, support, and create ventures that share their mission to end homelessness for good. They seek to invest in new housing, financial service, employment or healthcare solutions that will help them accelerate the end of homelessness. In return for their commitment to their mission, they provide startups with a tailored six-month package of support, including workshops, talks, mentoring, 1:1 coaching, access to user groups and data. In addition they provide access to their network of expert partners who can distribute their products in the market and investors who can scale their business for the long term.
For more information about impact investors check out this awesome open source list from the Zebras Unite Community.
At Rocketmakers we leverage our experience to build innovative software for companies of all sizes with an ambition to have a positive impact in the world. If you have a vision for a project and you need a technical partner to help you design, develop and deploy it, get in touch: [email protected].
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