Dealflow | October 29, 2020

Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation launches $80 million fund for early-stage social entrepreneurs

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, October 29 – California-based Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation has launched an $80 million fund to make flexible equity and debt investments and unrestricted grants to 105 social enterprises. 

The venture philanthropy organization has invested $110 million in 175 social enterprises since 2002. “We structure our capital to follow the need of the entrepreneur and the issue they’re addressing,” DRK’s Lisa Jordan told ImpactAlpha

DRK expects to begin investing the fund, its fourth, in January. 

The new fund was announced with DRK’s launch of its European office in The Hague. DRK’s Netherlands-based investments include sanitation and waste recycling venture Safi Sana and circular textile startup Renewal Workshop. Its European portfolio includes startups like U.K. based Simprints, which is creating digital identities for vulnerable and undocumented individuals. 

DRK Foundation is working in partnership with The Hague’s impact initiative ImpactCity and Dutch bank Rabobank for its local and European deal sourcing.

Impact investing may have experienced a brief slow-down early in the pandemic, but it has since come back with force. Impact venture capital deals are expected to hit $19 billion in 2020—up $2 billion from 2019, according to a new report from ImpactCity, Danske Bank and Tech Nation. The organizations launched a new impact deals database, in partnership with dealroom, at ImpactCity’s virtual ImpactFest. 

Also at ImpactFest: The pandemic’s disruption of the global food chain is inspiring creative solutions. Dutch sustainable food startups provided a literal taste of how they’re tackling these challenges by delivering samples to participants. Sunt Foods is diverting unsellable bananas—”the most wasted food on the planet”—for reuse as banana bread and other shelf-stable snacks. Yespers is repurposing grain waste from breweries into snack foods like crackers. Meet Jack is making prepared, frozen meat-alternative meals from jackfruit. And De Lekkere Man, whose name means “The Tasty Man,” is working on charcuterie products made of male animals, which are typically culled in the egg and dairy industries.