November 5

Social Impact Capital Closes $42 Million To Invest in the ‘Best Ideas in Impact’

Social Impact Capital (SIC) announces the close of a $42M Fund I, one of the largest venture capital funds raised by a solo female GP. The raise allows SIC to put more money behind financing the “Best Ideas in Impact” at the earliest stages using their innovative investment strategy and tactics. Under the leadership of Sarah Cone, SIC will continue to make broad investments in companies tackling global challenges such as climate change, health, supply chains, and food systems.

In June, SIC’s first investment, OpenInvest, was acquired by JP Morgan, and last month they had two investments reach unicorn status:

  • Prometheus Fuels, the world’s first electrofuels unicorn, is a company that makes jet fuel, gasoline, and diesel from carbon taken out of the air.
  • Andela, a company that identifies the best remote engineering teams in the world and connects them with companies needing engineering talent.

“Unicorn” is the term used in the venture capital industry to describe a start-up company with a value of over $1 billion. Comparatively, “impact unicorns” promise to improve one billion lives. Social Impact Capital’s investments aim to do both. SIC has a 6.6% rate of finding unicorns from the earliest stages, one of the highest rates in the entire VC industry.

“Being a mission-driven company, it was important for us to have aligned investors. We were happy to have Social Impact Capital’s early support,” said Jeremy Johnson, co-founder and CEO, Andela, which recently reached unicorn status.

Social Impact Capital’s portfolio now consists of 30 impact companies, including:

  • Menten AI created the world’s first protein designed on a quantum computer and is designing drugs for currently undruggable diseases.
  • Aether Diamonds makes diamonds from sequestered atmospheric carbon, removing 20 tons of carbon per carat.
  • Charm Industrial has delivered over 5,000 tons of CO₂e sequestration since January, the largest permanent CO₂e removal of all time. They’re one of the only teams delivering carbon sequestration at scale on the timeframe needed to seriously address climate change.
  • PreAct, a DARPA spin-out commercializing a technology that can stop 86% of deaths and serious injuries from car accidents.
  • Emitwise, a carbon accounting company that makes it easy and profitable for corporations large and small to accurately track their carbon.

“I often find myself telling people that Sarah has been the single most impactful person in Emitwise’s history to date. Given our experience working with them, and knowing that they work like that with all their startups, I have no doubt Social Impact Capital will soon be recognized as one of the leading funds in the world,” said Mauro Cozzi, CEO of Emitwise.

“I always knew that Sarah would do something ground-breaking in the impact space from the time we worked together at Omidyar Network,” said Rob Hayes, the lead Seed investor in Uber.

SIC’s companies have a 100% follow-on financing rate and a 94% follow-on rate by top-tier investors overall. Many of those investors have supported the fund as LPs, including Founders Fund’s co-founder Peter Thiel, Andreessen Horowitz’s Marc Andreessen & Chris Dixon, True Venture’s co-founder Phil Black, Craft Venture’s co-founder David SacksRob Hayes (led Uber’s Seed Round), Eric Ries, founder of the Long Term Stock Exchange, along with family offices, RIAs, and fund of funds.

“If there’s going to be a future at all, we have to build it, and it’s clear that Social Impact Capital is on the forefront of financing it,” said Peter Thiel. “Sarah Cone is tracking the early stages of building a top-tier VC firm. She’s a terrific investor that I’ve been happy to work with. She excels at identifying breakthrough technologies and mission-oriented companies that will go on to build the 21st century future that has been held at bay for 20 years.”

More recently, Social Impact Capital has specialized in investing in biotech and synbio platforms: fundamental technologies that have a number of world-changing applications. The fund’s team helps steer the companies to their highest benefit to the world. Examples include Totus Medicines, a platform to design covalent drugs, and Catena Biosciences, a platform for protein conjugation that spun out of the Doudna lab at U.C. Berkeley.

SIC leverages the best-in-class domain experts all over the world to collaborate on deal sourcing, diligence, and company support, a unique “hub-and-spoke” model that gives them the power of large global investors to capture opportunities in a wide variety of industries and verticals. “Social Impact Capital’s special sauce is that they have built a remarkable research muscle internally and also externally by tapping into some of the most incredible people in the world for the benefit of their portfolio companies,” said Ashby Monk, Executive and Research Director of the Stanford Global Projects Center.

Proceeds in the fund close will be used for new investments, but mostly concentrated in emerging winners within SIC’s now large, diversified portfolio.

“The software industry that VCs have focused on for the last 30 years just isn’t that large: $4.2 trillion,” says Sarah Cone, Founder and Managing Partner of Social Impact Capital. “The rest of the economy is $133 trillion, which is where we need to invest. These are the sectors that we’re going to have to make sustainable and equitable, or else we’re unlikely to have a future: it’s an existential threat now.”

Source: Press Release (link opens in a new window)

climate change, corporations, impact investing, startups