Q&A with Kelly McCarthy: Architect of IRIS+ is ready to put impact management theory into practice. It’s not yet the holy grail of impact measurement, but IRIS+ has given investors a starting point for comparable and credible data to manage impact performance. The catalog now includes more than 700 metrics across 17 themes. It standardizes measurements for outputs such as quality jobs, agricultural yields and water or energy conserved. And it is used by nearly 20,000 firms. Kelly McCarthy, who shepherded the taxonomy into being over more than a decade at the Global Impact Investing Network, will now put it to the test as head of impact at Chicago-based Vistria, a middle-market private equity firm with a portfolio of three dozen edtech, health tech and financial services companies. “It was time for me to walk the talk and work with a firm that was mission-aligned and had really bought into this idea that more impactful companies are more valuable companies,” McCarthy tells ImpactAlpha in what is both an exit interview and a curtain-raiser. One incentive for jumping from nonprofit field-builder to private investment management: “I would actually get to prove out that thesis.”
Dealflow: Returns on Inclusion
Nex Cubed scores $5 million from Costco to invest in founders from historically Black colleges. San Francisco-based accelerator Nex Cubed is looking to raise $40 million for an HBCU Founders Fund, which will back 20 early-stage startups a year led by at least one founder from an historically Black college or university. The fund will focus on fintech, digital health, proptech and edtech startups. It will use $5 million from Costco to launch a four-month accelerator program for 10 founders this spring, and a second cohort in the fall. Each company will secure a $120,000 investment and an average $250,000 in follow-on funding. “We want to make sure when they leave our program that they’re in that place to go out and raise that next significant round of capital, a million-plus round,” Nex Cubed Marlon Evans told The Plug. The firm is accepting applications for the first cohort.
Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent
The Center for Economic Democracy names Yichen Feng, ex- of Lumos Capital Group, as managing director of capital strategies... Enterprise Community Loan Fund has openings for a loan officer and senior loan officer in the Mid-Atlantic region… Impak Analytics seeks an ESG controversies analyst in Montreal… The International Foundation For Valuing Impacts is looking for a remote chief market development officer… Advisian has an opening for a senior low-carbon analyst in Irvine, Calif… Apollo is recruiting a principal of ESG integration for its climate and infrastructure group.
Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Impact Ventures, which supports ImpactAlpha’s Investing in Health coverage. In partnership with J&J Impact Ventures, ImpactAlpha is exploring the …