Dealflow | November 18, 2019

Impact Engine focuses on the future of work with $25 million second fund

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, November 18 – Chicago-based Impact Engine has raised a second impact fund to back entrepreneurs preparing and upskilling the U.S. workforce.

The accelerator-turned-fund-manager is armed with $25 million in fresh capital to cut checks of up to $400,000 in software companies like Fixer, an on-demand home maintenance service that employs and trains people from disadvantaged backgrounds; KickUp, a platform listing professional development opportunities for teachers; and Glimpse K12, which helps school districts deploy early education resources more effectively.

Impact Engine is investing in other sectors too, like health (CancerIQ), financial services (Climb Credit) and housing (PadSplit), but sees the most opportunity in tech companies “straddling economic empowerment and education,” partner Tasha Seitz told ImpactAlpha. “I think the conversation about the future of work is driving a lot of that.”

It’s a shift from Impact Engine’s $10 million first fund, which primarily invested in health and edtech startups.

The landscape of tech solutions creating economic opportunity

Impact Engine hit a $10 million first close for the fund last May. It has now reached a final close of $25 million with backing from Trillium Asset Management, the Illinois Growth and Innovation Fund, ImpactAssets, family offices and foundations.

The fund will invest in about 25 companies, with reserves for follow-on rounds.