There’s an idea that’s long been gospel in the venture capital industry, that investing in companies that have a positive social impact is a money loser — impact investing is “concessionary.”
But what if it isn’t?
Mitch Kapor is a well-known tech investor. He helped create the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet and was an early Uber investor. But for the past decade, Kapor and his wife, Freada Kapor Klein, have focused on companies that they say fill a gap, whether it’s social, information or opportunity. And in 2019, their firm, Kapor Capital, reported that in fact it does make money. Lots of it. Mitch Kapor told me it’s only a matter of time before other firms get the message. The following is an edited transcript of our conversation. Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has marked the past year, and while this pandemic has truly changed our everyday lives, the pandemic that is racism has long lingered in this country unresolved. Racism is an enduring crisis that is inflamed in the presence of other crises. Last summer, this became increasingly evident as the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor brought global attention and outrage to one of the greatest issues plaguing our country.
Since then, we have seen companies increase their awareness of social justice issues and make strategic changes to consider and combat systemic racism in the private sector. Like the COVID-19 pandemic and international protests against racial injustice, global events have also boosted investors’ consideration for how their portfolios affect sustainability issues such as climate change, worker treatment, health and wellness, democracy, and racial justice. Read more.
The coming wave of electric vehicles will require more than thousands of charging stations. In addition to being installed, they also need to work — and today, that isn’t happening.
If a station doesn’t send out an error or a driver doesn’t report it, network providers might never know there’s even a problem. Kameale C. Terry, who co-founded ChargerHelp!, an on-demand repair app for electric vehicle charging stations, has seen these issues firsthand.
One customer assumed that poor usage rates at a particular station was due to a lack of EVs in the area, Terry recalled in a recent interview. That wasn’t the problem. Read more.
Ginger, the on-demand mental health company, today announced a $100 million Series E financing round led by funds managed by Blackstone Growth (“Blackstone Growth”). This latest round of investment will bring the company’s total funding to over $220 million, on the heels of approximately 3x revenue growth over the past year. Read more.