D.Light Raises $11 Million to Light Up Developing World

Like Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of WhatApp, the announcement that d.light design has closed $11 million in new financing is a signal of Silicon Valley’s increasing interest in technology’s role in meeting the needs of emerging middle-class consumers in the developing world. Investors in d.light, which makes affordable solar lanterns, included Draper Fisher Jurvetson, a

Announcing ImpactSpace: Open Data and Resources to Power Impact Investing

The data is flowing. Today’s launch of ImpactSpace, the open impact database, enables players in the global impact investing marketplace to navigate nearly  2,300 impact companies and more than 1,300 financing events. ImpactSpace begins to meet the impact community’s oft-cited need for a real picture of the companies, investors and actual transactions — the deals getting

On the Impact Frontier: Leaders Who Are Shaping Market Systems

In Bangladesh, a thousand families still weep for loved ones who perished in April when the Rana Plaza garment factory collapsed.  Who is to blame? Is it the factory owner who was trying to keep costs down to prevent the business from moving elsewhere? Is it western consumers who want to buy cheap clothes? Is

Q & A with Fish 2.0: Beyond Seafood Business as Usual

Converting fish waste into food. Powering fish farms in the desert. Generating value from oceans of data. I caught up with Monica Jain recently to learn what business opportunities are emerging from the Fish 2.0 contest she has organized to connect investors with opportunities in the $390 billion seafood industry. (See “Fish 2.0: Investing in

Beyond GDP: New Social Progress Index Tracks Well-Being

Economic growth doesn’t necessarily lead to social progress, but social progress appears to be a powerful driver of economic prosperity. Those are among the early findings of the new Social Progress Index, a new measure of human wellbeing in which the U.S. comes in only sixth, while Sweden and the United Kingdom are ranked first

Yellow Brick Road to the Impact Economy

I’m from San Francisco, not Kansas, but when I stepped off the elevator at the Lexington Avenue headquarters of Bloomberg LP, it felt like Oz. Around the soaring 6th floor atrium, no walls or receptionists guard the newsrooms. Senior executives hold meetings on a Big Pink Couch.  Billionaires like Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google, visiting

Open Impact Data: FAQ

Why is Open Impact Data important? Taking social impacts and financial results seriously requires transparency and disclosure. Nearly everybody agrees that transparency is essential to a healthy marketplace – except perhaps when it comes to their own data. We all know there are many reasons some investors and entrepreneurs prefer not to disclose their activities.