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Dealflow: Village Capital launches fund strategy, WE Venture Fund invests, $12 million for green chemistry



Greetings! Here’s the latest impact investing deal news.

Village Capital to manage $3 million financial health fund for MetLife Foundation. After 11 years and more than 100 investments in early-stage startups, Village Capital is getting into fund management. The startup accelerator and investor will invest MetLife Foundation’s $3 million program-related investments fund in ventures addressing financial health. The fund will make direct and “patient” investments in fintech startups already in the Village Capital orbit. MetLife and Vilcap have supported dozens of startups through “Finance Forward” cohorts in Jordan, India and the U.S.

  • Investment priorities. “The family of funds model will allow us to explore targeted funds that focus on specific sectors and geographies, rather than forcing investments into a ‘one-size-fits-all’ strategy,” Village Capital writes. Themes will include financial health, the future of work, and sustainability, and investments will target founder diversity. “We’re excited about startups that value customers and sales growth over inflated valuations,” the company wrote. 
  • Dig in.

New York City fund co-invests in Cosynd to help creatives get copyrights. The city’s economic development arm launched the $10 million WE Venture fund last March to mobilize up to $30 million for women-led tech startups over five years. The fund, one of the first for a city, co-invests with five women-led VC partners, including Archer Gray, Future/Perfect Ventures, WOCstar Fund and the Morgan Stanley Multicultural Innovation Lab. The fund’s first co-investment is in Cosynd, which aims to simplify the process of obtaining copyrights for creators such as musicians, writers and app developers. WE Ventures co-invested $125,000 in Cosynd’s “super seed” round.

  • Gotham gals. WE Ventures is part of the city’s effort to support entrepreneurship among women by providing loans, working capital and crowdfunding. The WE Ventures team has already made connections to other investors and city agencies, Cosynd’s Jessica Sobhraj said. “We really want to have partners and not just someone who writes a check.” 
  • More.

P2 Science scores $12 million for ‘green chemistry.’ Many ingredients used in the $500 billion beauty industry come from fossil fuels—or are plant-based but have questionable or negative environmental impact (think palm oil). P2 Science is a “green chemistry” company that develops sustainable and renewable flavors, fragrances and ingredients for cosmetics as well as food and beverages. The Connecticut-based company’s Series C round was backed byCHANEL and HG Ventures, the venture arm of Heritage Group, a materials, chemicals and fuels company. VC firm Safermade and existing investors, including BASF Venture Capital and Elm Street Ventures, joined the round.

–Jan. 30, 2020

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