VC Trends Watch: Creating ImpactVC

Start-ups are such an important part of the development of new technologies and thinking, and providing funding to them is essential to the impact they can wield on any economy.

Recently, a group of about 120 venture capital firms came together to launch ImpactVC, a Europe-wide initiative aimed at promoting impact investing in venture capital. It is a great move for the venture capital industry as a whole and a step in the right, business direction.

ImpactVC is a community of VCs accelerating impact within the venture capital space. The community believes that the most important companies of the next decades are solving the world’s most pressing issues and venture capital has a huge role to play in finding solutions to them. ImpactVC realises that impact makes good business sense. But to achieve this adequately, the knowledge, tools and resources must be in place.  

Headquartered in London, ImpactVC has three striking qualities to it.

First is the sheer size of the community; 120 VCs pool their resources and expertise together to make a tremendous impact. Literally.

Secondly, the fact that it is supported by both specialist impact and generalist venture capitals alike; thus, demonstrating that managing impact is going mainstream in the VC industry.

Finally is the 24-paged ImpactVC Playbook for VCs which was tested on a sizeable working group of VCs. The book gives an overview of key issues in managing, measuring, and reporting on impact as well as outlines some best practices. Investors are advised to look through it, regardless of whether they identify as impact investors.

ImpactVC is geared towards unlocking venture capital’s ability to solve the world’s most pressing problems, and the community consists of many recognized names in the global start-up ecosystem. Antler, Partech, Norrsken, Balderton, Anthemis and Northzone are a few of them; some of which have a presence in African countries and are already a significant part of the continent’s start-up ecosystem.

Imagine the effect of such an initiative on the African ecosystem if replicated here by local and international VCs familiar, with the nuances of the African business environment? The likes of Y Combinator, Tiger Global, QED Investors, etc. joining forces with Future Africa, EchoVC Partners, Vantage Capital, Ventures Platform and others to enable a positive effect on the landscape.

The result? African start-ups, specifically, would most likely skyrocket in their growth trajectory and the continent, in general, would also benefit astronomically.     

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