Anne Hathaway backs Pact, an all-women led VC for mission-driven startups, from West to East • TechCrunch

How many VC funds can you name where three partners had babies while raising funds, had deep connections in Asia and Europe and the US, and included actress Anne Hathaway as LP? Not many of me are at risk.

But that’s the profile of Pact, a new seed VC fund launched with a £30 million ($36 million) pot of cash to back early-stage startups across Europe. The pact targets “mission-driven” startups in what it calls the “ABC” categories: access (including economics), improvement (personal and professional well-being), and climate. (This is a much more interesting way of addressing areas of “good doing” rather than abandoning the UN SDGs, IMHO). Packet investment tickets range from around £1m to £1.5m.

In addition to Anne Hathaway (she’s not only an Academy Award-winning actress, she’s also a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador), other LPs include Jeff Dean, head of artificial intelligence at Google, and founding (and former) shareholder Kate Thier. of TechCrunch and former UK and US tech entrepreneur.

Anchor investor Campden Hill Capital joins them. Yiming Wang, former head of Alibaba EMEA; Fahad Bey, executive director of Naspers; Todd Rupert, retired CEO of T. Rowe Price Global and investment partner at Greenspring Associates, and Tilo Bonow, CEO of PIABO.

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The three female partners—Tang Guo, Reem Mobasaleh Windham, and Monique Pham—were former VCs at other funds. Gu was an investor in ADV (of which Teare was previously a part) and created a data analytics startup in Shanghai, which he exited. Windham was also a former ADV investor and founder. Pham was part of the founding team of early stage venture capital fund Fuel Ventures and launched several social enterprises in Africa and India.

Speaking to Windham’s Reem Mbasaleh, she told me that they had been fundraising for a little over a year (while pregnant with their first children), but that the idea had been “in the works” for about five or six years: “We both joined ADV in the same week. And we met Monique at the same time. What we saw in the early-stage landscape in the UK were a few key things that were missing. Few fund managers in the early stages “There are early adopters who have both operational experience and deep overseas operational experience in emerging markets. And that’s what the three of us bring to the table, in a very defining way.”

He added: “We believe that capitalism should and can be inclusive and at the same time bring great results. And we really want it to be able to support early-stage companies that are really shaping the future. We have all built our careers with that Northstar as a guide for us. It’s a value we’ve always championed, but it’s only at this point that the market has really come around to it. There should be no trade-off between socially sustainable, environmentally sustainable and commercially sustainable outcomes. You have to think about both. And this is the value in which all three of us came together.” He said.

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Tang Guo told me, “I grew up in China and saw how entrepreneurship and technology enabled a large population of people who were previously below the poverty line to become richer and improve their lives. I started a technology company that “It enabled small, independent brand owners to compete with bigger brands. And for me, that was an experience that was really economically involved, but in a kind of technology-based way.”

“It’s not a big investment,” Wyndham admitted. However, he said the £30m should give them enough companies to achieve the “healthy diversity” needed for the funds’ returns: “We could do 18 to 20 companies, both leading and subscribing. We’ve been very thoughtful about how we’ve managed our LP base. Thus the LPSs that have entered are strategic and provide domain expertise and market access, but also provide capital continuity. The vast majority are looking to access the transaction flow. “So in that sense, it actually reduces our firepower to over 30 million.”

Anne Hathaway (source: Wikipedia)

Anne Hathaway (source: Wikipedia)

“He’s actually been my friend and mentor for about 12 years, and since then we’ve become friends and we share the same values,” Windham added of the Hollywood star’s presence among his LPs. One of her big causes is child care and its lack as the last frontier for gender equality. And this is something we have experienced firsthand as three female GPs who all gave birth to their first children while raising this fund. We need to figure out how to overcome the structural headwinds to do both. “That’s one of the lessons we hope to share with the ecosystem, and that’s where it comes in.”

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Peyman’s first investment is in Growth Kitchen, a London-based company that launches sustainable food brands based on data insights.

Past investments for Pact team members include the acquisition of DocuSign. Roy, an electric car sharing service; Perlego, an online learning platform; and Yoko, an African fintech company.


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