Two years into investing out of our first Affect Fund: right here’s what we’re studying

Two years in the past, we raised our first affect fund, closing just below $7M within the fall of 2017. Since then, we have now revamped 73 investments and our fund is almost absolutely invested. 

Along with investments made via our Techstars Affect Accelerator (Austin, TX), Techstars Sustainability Accelerator in partnership with The Nature Conservancy (Denver, CO) and Cox Enterprises Social Affect Accelerator powered by Techstars (Atlanta, GA), this fund participates in Seed and Sequence A offers of affect firms throughout our international ecosystem as effectively.

At present, our affect portfolio spans a number of industries: from healthcare to monetary providers and insurance coverage, to housing and provide chains and logistics. Our portfolio has international attain, representing firms working world wide from Singapore, to Nigeria, to proper right here in the US.

For instance, Aunt Bertha (Austin, TX), a search and referral platform connecting people to well being and human providers, has raised over $22M so far. DroneSeed (Seattle, WA) makes use of FAA authorised drone-swarms for agricultural payloads to take reforestation to scale, and has raised over $7.5M. And Connxus (Cincinnati, OH), a provider administration platform that permits procurement professionals to handle provider danger, provider variety and sustainable sourcing, has raised almost $17M so far.Whereas our Affect Portfolio remains to be younger, our 73 investments have given us a singular vantage level into rising tendencies within the affect startup ecosystem.

Right here’s What We’re Studying:

Affect Corporations are Pacing on Efficiency — the affect benefit?

In 2016 we evaluated the historic efficiency of affect firms, and in a comparability of the gathering of firms assembly our affect standards in contrast with our common portfolio, our affect firms outperformed. Of those firms, Zipline, which builds drones to ship life-saving medical provides and went via our 2011 Techstars Seattle program, was just lately valued at $1.2B.

Earlier this yr, we repeated this evaluation for all firms that went via a Techstars accelerator between 2012 and 2018, to check the monetary efficiency of our investments: all affect firms versus all Techstars firms, utilizing gross multiples from our investments because the measure. Once more, for yearly between 2012 and 2018, our affect firms outperformed our general portfolio: the vary of outperformance different between 6% and 26% in varied years throughout this time interval.

During the last 18 months our funding exercise throughout phases mirrors this development with affect firms as a proportion of complete investments made at Techstars (affect and common) rising by stage:

Funding Exercise by Stage (2018 – Q1 2019 investments)

Whole Investments – Affect Fund

Whole Investments – Techstars*

% of Whole Investments Made*

Accelerator Corporations




Seed Offers




Sequence A Offers




*Over the identical time interval throughout every class
Supply: Techstars Affect Report

The Pipeline is Rising

Forward of launching our first affect fund, we analyzed our historic portfolio and located that between 2013 – 2016 the variety of affect firms accepted into our accelerator applications was rising by over 50% year-over-year and represented just below 10% of our portfolio. We’ve since watched this development proceed. Between 2016 – 2018, firms with ties to the UN Sustainable Growth Targets that participated in our accelerator applications have gone on to make up almost 29% of our international portfolio.

Affect Corporations Are Rising Round 4 Key Traits

As a enterprise investor in affect, the mission of our strategy to aligning monetary returns with affect outcomes is to deal with areas the place an affect alternative immediately aligns with a big market alternative. During the last decade, 4 key tendencies have enabled this:

Expertise creating first-time entry to beforehand inaccessible markets;
A fall in the price of expertise enabling the supply of affect merchandise down-market;
An increase in client demand for moral, sustainable merchandise and enterprise practices;
The rise of world affect threats that, if uncorrected, characterize existential enterprise dangers to high international firms and our international financial system

Market-Pushed Expertise Options Can Drive Actual Affect at Scale

In Could of this yr we revealed our first Affect Report and throughout 44 firms. This report centered on our affect portfolio, which has delivered the next outcomes:

Three.7M folks impacted
768,000 kilos of meals diverted from landfills
14,221 tons of CO2 emissions averted
$6.2B in second tier variety spend enabled
500+ jobs supported

Be a part of Us on October third to Hear How Our Most Latest Investments Are Impacting the World

On October third, our ten latest investments out of our affect fund will take the stage in Austin, TX to showcase how they’re leveraging revolutionary applied sciences to drive social and environmental affect world wide – from Ghana, to Nigeria, to Mexico, to proper right here in the US. 

Whereas their enterprise fashions vary from delivering animal vaccines to African farmers on the final mile to a brand new type of background verify for the 1-in-Three American customers dwelling with a prison report — their mission is comparable: scaling market-driven expertise options to our technology’s most urgent challenges.

If you need to attend Techstars Affect Demo Day on October third, please RSVP right here.

affect, techstars affect

Zoe Schlag
Zoe is the Managing Director of the Techstars Affect Accelerator in Austin. She is the Founder & Government Director of UnLtd USA, offering seed funding and enterprise help to entrepreneurs tackling urgent social and environmental challenges. She is an Aspen Concepts Scholar, previously a Mentor-in-Residence at Techstars and has labored with social ventures throughout the US, India and Africa.

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