IMPACTASSETS 50™

An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers

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An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers

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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.
https://www.impactassets.org/impactassets-50

ImpactAssets 50

An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers

IA 50 2024 PROFILE

Spring Impact Capital

Total Assets Under Management: Less than $25M
Asset Class: Private Debt - Absolute Return / Notes, Private Equity
Primary UN Sustainable Development Goal: 12 – Responsible Consumption & Production
Clean Technology, Alternative Energy & Climate Change
Global Health
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Firm Overview

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

The Spring Impact Capital is a Canadian venture fund built on the deep brand and resources from Spring Activator's decade-old impact entrepreneur accelerator business. Our mission is to help fill the gap of pre-seed/seed investments in early stage companies with scalable innovations in climate and health. We favour diverse entrepreneurs, working with our companies to instill DEI best practices. We started in January 2023 and are targeting a $20m fund. We believe our strategy of supporting early stage entrepreneurs with scalable and impactful business models will offer LP's attractive returns and meaningful impact. We believe that Canada is underinvested, offering the opportunity to enter into exciting companies at attractive valuations. Furthermore, there is a funding gap at the pre-seed level. Our impact relates to the ability to catalyze the Canadian ecosystem, and in particular diverse, underserved communities. 

Firm Headquarters: US & Canada
Years of Operation: Less than 3 years
Total Assets Under Management:
Less than $25M
Total Number of Investors: Between 5 – 25
% of Capital from Top 3 Investors: 50% – 99%
Investment Thesis:

We invest in founders of Canadian startups to scale innovation for a more sustainable, healthy and equitable world.

Investment Overview:

We believe there is a massive opportunity to generate attractive returns and meaningful impact at the intersection of: 1) early stage Canadian startups seeking pre-seed or seed funding; 2) emphasis on diverse teams; 3) scalable business models with innovations addressing planetary or human health challenges. We invest typically into pre-seed companies that have a valuation of <$10m. We utilize Spring’s broad network as well as our deep experience as founders, CFO’s, investment managers and impact investors to provide thorough high-touch post-deal support to our companies. We will work with our companies to assist them with scaling and raising the next round of institutional capital. We specifically work with founders to track financial, impact and DEI KPI’s. We aim to help our founders fill critical roles on their team and board, specifically with diverse individuals.

Company Differentiator:

Spring is differentiated by: i) Unparalleled national deal flow across Canada and based off of Spring’s team in 6 provinces ii) Key partners and mentors, relationships developed over nearly a decade with Spring Activator iii) Holistic post round support including deep resources to support founders and a high touch approach with a 12 month bespoke plan iv) Track record of discovering and catalyzing diverse founders in the areas of health and climate v) Pre-seed focus provides the impact of supporting the economy, strengthening critical innovation, and igniting the next generation of companies vi) Canadian expertise offers access to an overlooked and underdeveloped market resulting in an differentiated, attractive portfolio  

Investment Example

Cognito is an online platform for comprehensive treatment for ADHD, depression, anxiety and insomnia using virtual medical appointments, coaching and medication delivery. Mental health services represent one of the most glaring gaps in the Canadian health system. Current business models are not serving the needs of the majority of patients. Cognito is attempting to build something that is effective, accessible and scalable. It does this by offering an integrated healthcare model, and a digital platform alongside virtual live sessions. The company runs using a monthly subscription model, which is currently averaging $68k in MRR. They have secured high quality contracts with local health authorities and have managed to continue to grow and gain traction despite not spending on marketing. Commitment to impact, early traction, capable leadership and reputable co-investors all made this a worthy candidate for Spring to support as the first investment in the fund. 

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
Olivia Hornby – Managing Partner More Info

Former VP at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, in the Alternative Investments & Manager Selection team. Former consultant to Vancity’s impact investing fund portfolio, investor relations at a $5bn London-based hedge fund and portfolio advisor at RBC Dominion Securities.

Graham Day – Managing Partner More Info

Previously Chief Investment Officer at Spring Activator, providing programming for startup entrepreneurs and impact investors. Former Investment Manager at LGT Impact (now Lightrock with $3b AUM) leading climate and agriculture diligence. Former CFO of Sistema.bio, a global regenerative agriculture company. Ex-Oliver Wyman.

Keith Ippel – Managing Partner More Info

With over 25 years of experience as a leader in technology & impact businesses and as an angel investor, Keith has accelerated the growth of both small and large companies and raised over $80M in angel investment and venture capital. As a global keynote speaker, teacher, and advisor, he has an unparalleled ability to collaborate with entrepreneurs, employees, and investors to grow businesses and change the world. Keith has trained more than 400 impact entrepreneurs on investment readiness and raising capital, including Hootsuite (first three rounds), StoryTap, SocialNature, Nada Grocery, Foodee ($200m exit), Ministry of Programming, ehsAI (acquired), Brightkit (acquired; 3x in 2 years), Careteam, and FoodMesh.

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:*
25% to less than 50%
*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:
Market Rates
Actual Performance of Impact Products/Funds Relative to Target Financial Returns in the Past Three Years:
In line with initial target returns
Financial Reporting Frequency to Investors or Donors
Quarterly

Impact Performance

Percentage of Total Assets Under
Management that are Impact Investments:
100%
Primary Impact Outcomes:
Addressing climate change and environmental issues
Secondary Impact Outcomes:
Increasing access to healthcare services and improving health
Addressing racial inequities
Addressing gender inequities
Value-added Services Offered:
Access to markets
Business and legal training
Financial literacy training
Education services
Racial bias training or bias training
Human Resources, recruiting and professional development services

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

We target companies that have a clear mission around making a positive influence on human or planetary health. The product or solution must be one where growth of the business is parallel with the growth of impact. We work with companies to build financial and impact key performance indicators, which are tracked over time. Most often, impact relates to the quality of the lives improved, or climate benefit. We aim to target companies with underrepresented founders, or who target underserved communities. 

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

As an impact investing fund, we consider both internal practices along with external impact (to end beneficiaries and the environment). The consideration of internal social/environmental sustainability is formed by the B-Corp status of our General Partner, Spring Activator. We are especially focused on DEI metrics from the beginning of the investment diligence process. As we invest in early stage companies, we find that many of them are still building out their practices. We act as a sounding board to ensure the practices are aligned with the impact objectives.

Impact Tracking and Monitoring

Impact is Tracked:
Yes
Impact Verified by an Independent Third-Party:
No
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: Olivia Hornby
Phone: 778-999-0210
Mailing Address:

225 West 8th Ave, Suite 300, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1N3 Canada

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