Dealflow | September 11, 2018

Working Capital closes ethical supply chain fund at $25 million

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, September 10 – Venture fund Working Capital has raised $2.5 million in new capital from European e-commerce company Zalando and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation to back startups improving supply chain practices and transparency. The new commitment brings the fund’s final close to $25.2 million.

Humanity United, a non-profit that’s part of the Omidyar Group, launched the fund in January to invest in early-stage technology companies fighting human trafficking, inhumane labor conditions, and other abusive supply chain practices. it initially raised $23 million from Walt Disney Company, Walmart Foundation, C&A Foundation, and impact investors like the Soros Economic Development Foundation. 

So far, Working Capital has backed three companies: Provenance, which uses blockchain technology for product traceability; Ulula, which makes software to help companies engage with workers in their supply chains; and most recently, QuizRR, which makes digital training modules and tools to teach employers and workers about worker rights and responsibilities.

Of its latest investors, Zalando is a fashion e-commerce company that operates in 17 countries in Europe and sells more than 2,000 brands on its platform; the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation is a U.K.-based charity committed to children’s issues in developing countries. Child labor is one of those issues, which affects more than 150 million children worldwide.