After four years and two business models, founder Philip Berber is shutting down Enable Impact.
Berber, who earlier sold his online brokerage startup CyBerCorp to Charles Schwab, initially sought to build a matchmaking site to connect impact entrepreneurs needing early- and growth-stage funding with investors looking for deals. “We had some success, and we did help fund a number of deals,” Berber wrote in an email to supporters this week.
Eighteen months ago, Enable Impact pivoted to become a fee-based investment service bringing screened deals to a network of impact investors. “Yet we were unable to fund enough deals to generate enough fees to build a sustainable business,” he says.
In the end, he said, checks from investor groups and networks “are few and small,” while larger fund managers rely on their own peer and co-investor networks.
With the interests of impact investors spread across geographies, sectors, issues and stages, “any deal, however strong, appeals to a limited few,” Berber says. “We didn’t add enough value to enough investors to keep going.”