Impact Investment Fund launches: a new $100 million socially-conscious Aussie start-up fund

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The constrained Australian venture capital industry is about to receive a $100 million infusion earmarked forcompanies that promise to do good for society or the environment.

The Impact Investment Fund is the brainchild of Sydney-based social investor Geoff Gourley, entrepreneur and multimillionaire financial planner Julio De Laffitte, and is being advised by Mr Ressi, an entrepreneur-turned-investor who runs The Founder Institute, a startup accelerator program spanning 50 countries.

The fund intends to invest a minimum of $100,000 in fledgling companies, which are on track to return a financial investment, but which also work towards socially or environmentally-progressive aims. So-called impact investing may be a nascent concept in Australia, but a report by the World Economic Forum in 2014 estimated the market would be worth upwards of $US650 billion by 2017.

“Profit for profit’s sake is not that fulfilling in the end. This is purpose, and profit,” Mr De Laffitte said.

“We want to invest in ideas that create good, but they have to make profit. Because that is how you sustainably solve ideas, and have the money and drive to do it again, and again.”

In the United States in May, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams announced the closure of a $US123 million fundraising round for a similarly motivated fund called Obvious Ventures, which has since backed 12 companies ranging from online activism site to an artisan vegan cheese company.

Source: Financial Review (link opens in a new window)

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