Early Tesla Motors Investors Raise $400 Million Impact VC Fund
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Two early investors in Tesla Motors Inc.TSLA +0.96% teamed up and raised a $400 million venture capital fund to back startups that have a positive social or environmental impact, Venture Capital Dispatch has learned.
Nancy Pfund and Ira Ehrenpreis are headlining the fund, which is part of San Francisco venture firm DBL Partners.
“Who cares about sustainability issues? Just people like Elon,” Ms. Pfund said about Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla. Mr. Musk and others like him “debunked the notion of a trade off” between making money and improving society, Mr. Ehrenpreis said.
More high-quality entrepreneurs are starting mission-driven businesses, he said. At the same time, a new generation of consumers cares more about who is involved in making products and how a company makes a product or service they pay for. As concepts such as fair trade and transparent supply chains are becoming increasingly important to businesses, Ms. Pfund said, such impact investing makes more sense.