Beats | March 13, 2017

For sustainable impact, think zebras, not unicorns

The team at


Startup unicorns worth more than $1 billion may capture the imagination, but zebras are for real.

Startup founders Mara Zepeda and Jenn Brandel say zebras are a better metaphor for companies that build cohesiveness and fill needs in society; that strive for quality, creation, sustainability, and shared prosperity.

Like their namesake, Zebra companies are black and white, profitable and pro-social, and won’t sacrifice one for the other.

The $15 billion-a-year impact investing world may have something to teach the $127 billion venture capital market.

“Zebras are also mutualistic,” write Zepeda and Brandel. “By banding together in groups, they protect and preserve one another. Their individual input results in stronger collective output.”

This post originally appeared in ImpactAlpha’s daily newsletter. Get The Brief.

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