An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers


An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers

ImpactAssets 50 Help Topics
Use the filter categories on the left to narrow down your results. You can switch years via the dropdown menu. The numbers next to each filter represent the number of results available given your current selection. If you'd like to start over, simply click the 'Reset All Filters'� link.
Use the dropdown menu found in the top right to arrange your current set of results. Select your preferred sorting option and wait for the results to refresh.
Use the print button to print the current page contents. This works for both the summary view and the full Fund Manager detail view.
ImpactAssets 50: A Global Landscape of Impact Investment Fund Managers
The ImpactAssets 50 (IA 50) is the first open-source, publicly published database of experienced private debt and equity impact investment fund managers.

ImpactAssets 50

An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers

IA 50 2023 PROFILE

JFF Ventures
(fka ETF@JFFLabs)

Total Assets Under Management: Less than $25M
Asset Class: Private Debt - Absolute Return / Notes
Primary UN Sustainable Development Goal: 8 – Decent Work & Economic Growth
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Firm Overview

Category: Venture Capital - Early Stage (Pre-seed/seed, Accelerator, Angel) - Developed Markets

JFF Ventures (JFFV) is building a future where innovative products and solutions give everyone increased and equitable access to learning, employment, and economic advancement opportunities. JFF Ventures is the impact investing arm of a national nonprofit, Jobs for the Future (JFF), that will manage funds focused exclusively on emerging technologies with the potential to improve economic mobility for workers in low-wage jobs. Meeting the gap in innovation and investment for disadvantaged workers, we partner with diverse entrepreneurs and catalyze solutions that address the leading workforce and racial equity challenges.  JFF Ventures builds on JFF's 2019 acquisition and incubation of the Employment Technology Fund (ETF@JFFLabs). To date, JFF has already invested in more than 40 high-impact technology startups through ETF@JFFLabs, which will now become JFF Ventures Fund I. 

Firm Headquarters: US & Canada
Years of Operation: 5 – 9 years
Total Assets Under Management:
Less than $25M
Total Number of Investors: Between 5 – 25
% of Capital from Top 3 Investors: Less than 25%
Investment Thesis:

JFF Ventures invests in early-stage companies building solutions at the intersection of education, workforce development and human potential. 

Investment Overview:

JFF Ventures partners with diverse entrepreneurs building early-stage technology solutions that help adults with low to middle skills find, secure, and prepare for jobs that lead to economic advancement. We seek to meet a significant gap in innovation and investment by: 1) focusing exclusively on technologies that benefit underserved workers in low-wage and low- to middle-skilled roles, 2) supporting female entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color, known to be underfunded by the venture capital yet with disproportionate insight into the needs of the underserved workers we support who are majority women, minority and immigrants, 3) investing at the early stages (pre-seed – Series A) where our capital and value addition as investors are particularly impactful and 4) catalyzing diverse sources of capital to benefit workers. We consider workers' needs holistically and invest across four key areas: Learning & Training, Assessment & Matching, Job Search & Placement and Wraparound Services. 

Company Differentiator:

JFF Ventures is a specialized fund manager focused on early-stage technology solutions that help underserved workers advance economically. The Fund is led by a diverse team and empowered by the expertise, networks, and infrastructure of a leading, nationally recognized workforce development organization. The team’s backgrounds and lived experiences allow us to understand our target populations, the technologies that companies are developing, and the ecosystems in which they operate.  Our partnership with JFF offers unique advantages across sourcing, diligence and portfolio management. With JFF's nearly 40-year history as a leading voice in workforce development, JFFV gains unparalleled insight into the trends, needs and challenges across the full ecosystem of JFF’s work, deepening the fund’s diligence and portfolio addition.  As a nonprofit, evergreen fund, JFFV is positioned to catalyze the highest impact innovations while recycling capital for sustained impact and building the broader funding ecosystem for technologies helping underserved workers.

Investment Example

Millions of workers do not have the foundational skills or digital access needed to advance economically, including one in five US workers who cannot read and one in four US adults with a high school degree or less who do not have a smartphone. Cell-Ed seeks to meet this challenge by providing working adults with training for foundational skills such as literacy, language and job readiness through micro-training accessible through any mobile device, including basic cellphones.  JFF Ventures became Cell-Ed’s first institutional investor in 2017, supporting founder and CEO Jessica Aalami-Rothenberg through the earliest stages of growth and helping the team grow revenue by over 30x since JFFV’s investment and raise multiple rounds of capital. With JFFV’s support, Cell-Ed has expanded to the fields of international development and health training, including the launch of a free COVID-19 training offering CDC-supported information to frontline workers in both English and Spanish. 

Leadership and Team

Cumulative Leadership Experience in Impact Investing:
30 years or more
Cumulative Impact Experience of Top Three Firm Leaders:
30 years or more
Yigal Kerszenbaum – Founder and Managing Director More Info

Yigal Kerszenbaum is JFF’s managing director for innovative finance, a role in which he will oversee the organization’s investment strategy. He was the founder and managing director of the Employment Technology Fund (ETF), which is now ETF@JFFLabs. An expert in impact investing, Yigal’s goal in managing ETF@JFFLabs is to support entrepreneurs who develop technology solutions to train and upskill low-income and lower-skill adults and connect people from underserved communities with employment opportunities. Yigal has executed more than $120 million worth of transactions in impact investments in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa.

Sabari Raja – Managing Partner, JFF Ventures More Info

Sabari Raja is a managing partner at JFF Ventures. She plays a key role in shaping the JFF Ventures fund’s strategy, honing JFF’s investment thesis, leading investments, and supporting the growth of the organization’s portfolio. Sabari is an experienced business operator, board member, and advisor with more than 20 years of experience leading product and go-to-market strategies, business development, strategic partnerships, and emerging market growth.

Ana Maria Aristizabal – Venture Partner, JFF Ventures More Info

Ana Maria Aristizabal is a venture partner at JFF Ventures. She is an experienced operator, investor, and board member of impact organizations with over 18 years of experience. She also teaches a highly rated course on impact investing at Columbia University. Before joining JFF, Ana Maria spent four years at KIPP Public Schools, where she was responsible for KIPP’s expansion and market entry strategy in California. Previously, she worked as a Principal at Bamboo Capital Partners - a pioneering impact investing fund - and served on the board of six companies across the Americas. Ana Maria started her career as an investment banker at Citigroup and ABN AMRO structuring financial solutions for government and infrastructure companies.

Percentage of Investment Professionals who identify as women:
50% or more
Percentage of Investment Professionals who identify as people of color:*
50% or more
Percentage of Senior Management Team who identify as women:
50% or more
Percentage of Senior Management Team who identify as people of color:*
50% or more
*People of color include: Black, Latinx, Asian, Native American/Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander, Middle Easterm and multi-racial Americans

Financial Performance

Target Financial Returns Relative to Benchmark:
Concessionary Rates
Actual Performance of Impact Products/Funds Relative to Target Financial Returns in the Past Three Years:
Over-delivered compared to initial target returns
Financial Reporting Frequency to Investors or Donors

Impact Performance

Percentage of Total Assets Under
Management that are Impact Investments:
Primary Impact Outcomes:
Increasing access to workforce development services, job skilling and retraining
Secondary Impact Outcomes:
Alleviating poverty
Creating jobs
Increasing access to education and improving educational outcomes
Increasing access to financial services
Addressing racial inequities
Addressing gender inequities
Value-added Services Offered:
Access to markets
Business and legal training
Financial literacy training
Technology training
Education services

Investments systematically target companies where social and/or environmental impact is integral to the product/service being created:

JFF Ventures exclusively invests in technology solutions in which the core product or service helps underserved workers advance economically. JFF Ventures is an impact-led fund, and impact is prioritized across all aspects of the investment process. In sourcing, JFFV’s differentiated insight into workforce needs through JFF’s expertise, experience and network in community colleges, workforce development agencies and governments at the local, state and federal levels, allows the fund to target innovations with the highest likelihood to generate positive impact on workers. In diligence, the investment team specifies and analyzes the theory of change supporting how a company’s product or service will yield economic advancement for underserved workers, with a strong equity lens, and the fund’s portfolio management processes ensure such impact is measured and advanced. 

Investments systematically include social and environmental sustainability practices in the due diligence process:

JFF Ventures prioritizes founder diversity in investment decision making. 80% of JFFV’s debt and equity investments to date have been in companies with a founder or CEO who is a woman or person of color. This figure includes the 66% of our investments that are in companies with a founder or CEO of color and 45% with a female founder or CEO. The diversity of ETF’s portfolio reflects the strong belief and experience that entrepreneurs with lived experience in the workforce challenges JFF Ventures seeks to address – which disproportionately affect women, minorities and immigrants – are the best suited to effectively tackle those challenges. 

Impact Tracking and Monitoring

Impact is Tracked:
Impact Verified by an Independent Third-Party:
Social and/or Environmental Impact is Reported to Investors and Donors:
Yes – to the public
Third Party Validations:
Member of Impact Capital Managers
Impact Frontiers Cohort Participant
Implement recommendations from Task Force on Climate Related-Financial Disclosure
Net Zero Assets Managers Initiative
Utilizes standardized impact metrics (e.g. IRIS+, GIIRS, etc.)
Participant on steering committees or leadership roles within impact industry associations
Publisher or contributor to industry white paper or other research in impact investing

Learn More

Key Contact Name: Yigal Kerszenbaum
Phone: 949-285-8624
Mailing Address:

50 Milk Street, 17th Floor, Boston, MA 02110, USA

Apply for the IA 50 2022

The application period to become an ImpactAssets 50 2022 Fund Manager will open in September 2021!
To stay informed on the application process, sign up here.

IA 50 2024: Apply for Consideration

The application period to become an ImpactAssets 50 2024 Impact Fund Manager is now open. Apply by October 27, 2023.