Agrifood Tech | October 7, 2019

Better Ventures closes $32 million fund to spur early impact tech

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, October 7 – Breakthrough technology is time and resource intensive to get off the ground. Since 2011, the founders of Better Ventures have provided first-in investment capital to founders of 27 impact tech companies.

Four of those are investments from its newly closed, $32 million third fund: Portland-based Knock Software, whose Ride Report app helps cities manage mobility; Nigeria’s 54gene, which is building Africa’s first genetic “biobank”; plant-based meat company Emergy Foods; and drug discovery startup Unnatural Products.

Oakland-based Better Ventures’ third fund is committed to cutting the pre-seed checks that help impact startups prove their products and services. But its early investments signify an expansion beyond enterprise software and data analytics into tougher technologies and scientific fields, like artificial intelligence, data science and life sciences.

“We’ve seen new and exciting technologies explode onto the scene that provide mission-driven entrepreneurs with even more tools to build world-changing companies,” Better Ventures’ Wes Selke wrote in a blog post.

Fund three will focus on technologies enabling a lower-carbon sustainable economy, data driven health and healthcare, and an adaptive global workforce.

The fund was backed by a group of undisclosed institutional investors including foundations and universities.