Redstone and EnjoyVenture have joined forces to create Human Impact Capital (HIC), Germany’s first dedicated social impact VC fund. The fund deploys cash into digital business models with a focus on health, education and ‘life’ and invests explicitly to impact the Sustainable Development Goals. For HIC, this means “no poverty, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality and reduced inequality”.
I spoke to fund manager Lucas Paul to find out what inspired the fund and its investment thesis.
In an interview with TechCrunch, Paul said: “We are convinced that innovation is key to overcoming the biggest social challenges of our time, and we are committed to contributing to a better future by investing in social impact startups. Let’s support.” Entrepreneurs who provide solutions to these social problems will advance our society and lay the foundation for future generations. While impact VC investments are on the rise, 75 percent of them go to environmental issues.
For the initial close, the fund chose to partner with strategic anchor investors who have strong ties to the social sector. Including Bank für Sozialwirtschaft, Germany’s leading social sector bank, which is heavily committed to HIC, fund representatives told me.
The fund aims to invest in digital business models that tackle society’s biggest challenges, typically investing between €500,000 and €1.5 million. The company focuses on early-stage startups in Europe and reserves more than 60% of its commitments for later investments.
We strongly believe that economic benefit and positive impact are mutually reinforcing and will accelerate at scale. “We want to prove this fundamental belief and demonstrate that we can generate above-average returns for our investors while maximizing the social impact of our investments.” Ideally, the concept is proven and widely accepted 10 years later, making the world a better place.
One of the areas the company believes it can impact and is actively looking to invest in is technologies that make aging smoother.
One of the elements that is common to all western societies is the aging population. Reaching this growing target group is critical today and will become even more important in the future. Now the challenge must be faced. We currently do not see many models that have solved the problem of reaching this group and including them in the ever-changing jungle of digital solutions. Most digital startups simply ignore the over-50s in their target group, missing out on huge revenue potential while the quality of life stagnates for the elderly. “We want to see more ambitious founding teams working on solutions for seniors to secure healthcare, protect the aging population while limiting loneliness.”