Impact Voices | March 26, 2024

Why Beta Impacto combined venture capital and an NGO to scale impact in Latin America

Matías Kelly

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Guest Author

Matías Kelly

Over the past 15 years, my personal journey has been dedicated to making the world a better place, navigating through various stages of perspective on how to scale impact. In a world where good ideas are crucial to solving pressing issues, I’ve identified three distinct levels at which impact can be scaled.

Firstly, serving as the President of Ashoka and System B in Argentina, I focused on catalyzing paradigm shifts to magnify impact. This involved extending the frontiers of rights and fostering awareness about the significance of broadening our perspectives towards one another and the planet. Central to this approach was the promotion of values such as empathy.

Subsequently, as the Secretary of State for Social Economy in Argentina, I recognized the transformative potential of instigating changes in public policies to scale impact. By leveraging policy reforms as tools for social and environmental change, we were able to create systemic shifts that reverberated across communities.

However, the most significant opportunity for scaling impact lies in harnessing the power of the market. By tapping into the force of the market, we can transform social and environmental needs into profitable opportunities.


This conviction was likely one of the main catalysts that sparked a proactive search, fostering the conversation and dialogue among perspectives and experiences, that led us to the joint construction of Beta Impacto; an investment fund dedicated to channeling impact investment in Latin America.

Resolving these issues through private capital in a profitable and scalable manner holds immense potential for transformation. Market forces provide the necessary framework for generating innovative solutions to address societal challenges through impact startups.

Here technology plays a dual role. Unlike traditional venture capitalists solely focused on business growth, at Beta, we also prioritize the creation of a scale of impact capacity. Technology disruption serves as a catalyst for not only business expansion but also for enhancing the capacity to generate meaningful social and environmental change.

A new vision

We created Beta as the natural convergence of Sumatoria and Xeibo Ventures. Sumatoria is an impact driven financial NGO with a solid track record in the field of social impact and impact measurement. Xeibo is a team specialized in risk investments and project evaluation, with a distinct expertise in disruptive technologies and a deep conviction in the power of entrepreneurship as a vehicle to develop and amplify innovative solutions that enhance change. 

Together, they are committed to promoting impact investments as an effective means of channeling capital flows towards innovative solutions that generate both financial benefits and positive and quantifiable social and environmental impact.

Sumatoria brings to Beta its experience in the management and development of social projects, as well as proven financing schemes and internally developed impact and risk assessment models, in addition to a network of impact-related partnerships. On the other hand, Xeibo Ventures contributes its expertise in project management and development, economic-financial evaluation, preparation of investment summaries, portfolio monitoring, and performance reporting.

The collective knowledge, resources, contacts and experience of our teams converge in Beta, enabling the project to achieve its goal of boosting entrepreneurship, measuring, guaranteeing and maximizing positive impact while generating significant financial returns.  

I firmly believe (and experience thus far is proving it) that the synergy resulting from this fusion of experiences and perspectives, fortified by the collective determination and purpose of every team member, serves as a defining strength of Beta.

Beta’s impact

Impact investments are not philanthropy but an innovative way of doing business that challenges the paradigm (still in force but decreasing) that sustainability does not generate profits. We, as many, believe that companies can be not only equally, but even more profitable than traditional businesses, by integrating impact into their business models.

Why do we focus on Latin América? It is widely acknowledged (and the audience here is probably well aware) that Latin America is simultaneously one of the most unequal regions globally, yet it boasts abundant natural and human resources. This duality presents both a pressing need and a significant opportunity.

While the region has great economic potential and abundant natural resources, it also faces significant challenges in terms of poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation. Latam ranks today as the world’s third-largest economy, with a total population of 658 million. Additionally, it holds 35% of arable land and concentrates 48% of copper reserves, 19% of iron ore, 25% of freshwater reserves, 23% of timber, and 13% of oil. Still, one-third of its population lives in poverty

In this context, where the need for solutions is pressing and innovative ideas abound to tackle social, economic, and environmental challenges. Beta acknowledges this reality and is committed to promoting and investing in projects that are profitable while also contributing to environmental conservation and the sustainable development of the region.

We strive to cultivate tailored tools and metrics that enable us to accurately gauge and quantify the impact created by our investments. We endeavor to support and enhance the results of these metrics and processes to maximize the impact and efficiency of our investments outcomes. 

Emerging as a beacon of change in a world that demands a more sustainable and socially conscious approach to business and economic development, Beta aims to boost the new paradigm of investment. At Beta, we see investment as a transformative force capable of driving positive change on a large scale,  

In a world led by superficial appearances, deeply harnessing real impact and values into profitable business that leverage the power of capitalism into transformative solutions will lead to a more prosperous and sustainable future for all.

Matías Kelly is a partner at Beta Impacto VC.