Impact Management | July 19, 2022

New impact funds build their portfolios and scratch their way to a first close

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, July 19 — Launching a fund is easy. Raising one is harder. Making it a success takes years. As a result, ImpactAlpha is often skeptical of fund announcements. But having an anchor investor and a few portfolio deals in the warehouse lends credibility.

For Agents of Impact, helping diverse and emerging managers, in particular, to spend less time raising money and more time helping companies succeed is another way to accelerate impact (see, “Maximizing the impact of catalytic capital when supporting emerging fund managers”).

Tech for social good

Kevin Ryan, who made his first billion selling Doubleclick to Google, is targeting early-stage ventures with solutions for education, social justice, mental health and climate issues in low-income and underserved communities.

AlleyCorp Impact has been seeded with an initial $25 million to hunt for startups using technology as a “tool to help combat poverty and economic inequality,” said Ryan. A 40-engineer lab in Montreal will work with portfolio companies to develop their technologies.


Jeff Cherry said he wants to back 4,000 Black, Brown and female founders over the next decade. Cherry’s Conscious Venture Partners raised an earlier fund of $1.9 million to support founders in Baltimore using technology to break down barriers in healthcare, mobility and education. “We weren’t able to support the best companies,” said Cherry and “were writing very small checks.”

With $50 million, the fund is looking to invest in up to 400 companies. Cherry has raised $15.8 million for the new fund, from investors including Under Armour’s Kevin Plank and Baltimore Ravens majority owner Steve Bisciotti.

Sustainable investing

The Collaborative Fund is aiming to raise $200 million, and says it has support “from some of the largest purchasers of materials, experts in agriculture and industry leaders.”

The fund, Collab SOS, has invested in Bolt Threads, which creates mycelium-based sustainable materials for apparel, footwear and beauty brands; low-carbon cement producer Brimstone Energy; and Natural Fiber Welding, which makes plastic- and chemical-free packaging materials.

“We chose the name Collab SOS because it represents the urgency needed to address this moment,” says The Collaborative Fund’s Craig Shapiro.