18 Top Social Impact Venture Capital Firms 2024

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There are a multitude of venture capitalist (VC) firms available to entrepreneurs. However, when looking for social impact investors, there are a few names that stand out from the rest. These organizations are dedicated to funding entrepreneurs that have social enterprises that make a positive difference in society. 

In this article,  we will teach you about some of the top social venture capital firms, what organizations they support, and the changes you can expect to see in the world.

Best Social Venture Capital Firms

While the Silicon Valleys of the world aren’t particularly known for focusing on social impact investing, firms like the ones listed below are making an impact by funding social entrepreneurs who are changing how we treat our world.

Disclaimer: With so many venture capital firms around the world, we aren’t able to cover them all. Furthermore, the following VC firms are not officially ranked and are listed in no particular order.

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1. Acumen Fund

The Acumen Fund is entirely focused on solving the problems brought about by global poverty. The organization was founded in 2001 with the mission of giving everyone the opportunity to live with dignity.

Acumen is a nonprofit venture fund that believes entrepreneurs are the answer to the world’s most pressing problems. The organization has an entire academy dedicated to helping everyday people learn how they can contribute to their economy to build a better world. The Acumen Fund hopes to bridge the gap between the market-based capitalist approaches and the pure philanthropic social impact approach.

2. Big Issue Investment

  • Location: United Kingdom
  • Stage: Seed, Early-Stage Venture
  • Notable Portfolio Companies: World Media Initiatives, Nickel Support

Since 2005, Big Issue Invest has been working to help social, economic, and environmental issues in the UK using social businesses and charities. The organization does this by providing repayable finance options from loans to larger investments.

In order to have the biggest impact possible, Big Issue Invest takes a hands-on approach with its portfolio companies. They work with them to ensure they are achieving their social and environmental missions as well as their financial goals. Big Issue Invest is the investment arm of The Big Issue Group which helps people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to earn an income by selling the magazine on the streets.

3. Calvert Impact Capital

  • Location: Bethesda, Maryland
  • Stage: Private Equity
  • Notable Portfolio Companies: Sunwealth Power, Northern Arc, One Acre Fund

Calvert Impact Capital has a 25-year track record of success in mission-driven investing. The organization was created with the goal of using investments to create positive social and environmental change.

Calvert Impact Capital provides patient capital in the form of loans, equity, and guarantees to companies and projects involved with climate change and inequality around the world. All companies have a 100% repayment rate with over 19,000-lifetime investors. The flagship product is the Community Investment Note which allows individuals to invest as little as $20 in social and environmental projects.

4. Better Ventures

  • Location: Oakland, California
  • Stage: Early-Stage Venture, Seed
  • Notable Portfolio Companies: Clinify Health, Avalo, Pluton Biosciences

Companies involved with essential science and technology may find support from Better Ventures. The organization has a team of experienced startup investors and entrepreneurs that help support early-stage companies.

Better Ventures’ mission is to improve the world by catalyzing mission-driven entrepreneurship. Their focus includes companies working towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The organization strongly believes companies with a mission-driven purpose perform better in the market due to the magnetic force of purpose.

5. City Light Capital

  • Location: New York, New York
  • Stage: Early-Stage Venture, Seed
  • Notable Portfolio Companies: Noteworthy AI, OhmConnect, Xage Security

City Light Capital directs its funds toward companies focused on education, safety and care, and the environment. The specific problems tackled can range from clue collar skills and hybrid learning to telehealth and smart cities.

The firm is split into two different segments, City Spark Investments and City Light Investments. City Spark invests in pre-seed stages, while City Light invests in companies with at least $1 million in revenue. In total, City Light has contributed to reducing non-emergency ER visits, increasing clean energy usage, and empowering students to complete their degrees.

6. Investors’ Circle

  • Location: San Francisco, California
  • Stage: Early-Stage Venture, Seed
  • Notable Portfolio Companies: Aeronics, CleanFiber, Reefill

The Investors’ Circle doesn’t care so much about the industry a company is in as much as its positive environmental or social effect. The organization believes in an inclusive economy that gives everyone access to resources and opportunities to thrive.

The organization was created in 1992 and has since invested over $275 million into over 350 companies. They have a wide range of investment options, from loans and debt to equity. The Investors’ Circle is part of the American Sustainable Business Network, which creates solutions for policymakers, business leaders, and investors for initiatives that benefit everyone.

7. Collab Capital

  • Location: Atlanta, Georgia
  • Stage: Seed, Early Stage
  • Notable Portfolio Companies: Employee Cycle, Intus Care, Nectar

Collab Capital is looking to narrow the inequality gap plaguing Black communities throughout the US. The organization invests financial, human, and network resources to support the growth of Black-owned businesses.

The investment firm focuses on several areas that are prime for innovation, including remote workplaces, education, and the future of health and wellness. Collab outlines knowledge, high-quality care, and specific tools as ways individuals can become more productive and live more enjoyable lives.

8. Good Capital

  • Location: San Francisco, California
  • Stage: Early-Stage Venture
  • Notable Portfolio Companies: News Deeply, Alter Eco, Better World Books

Good Capital invests in companies that have an alternative approach to solving some of the world’s largest problems. They believe an unintuitive and contrarian approach is the answer to creating unique solutions. Although the company doesn’t focus on one sector particularly, it is partial to technology products solving India-centric issues.

Examples include enabling middlemen, traders, and micro-SMEs through technology. The organization was started by two Indian natives in 2014 who love working with entrepreneurs at the beginning stages of their journey.

9. Emerald Technology Ventures

  • Location: Zürich, Switzerland
  • Stage: Early-Stage Venture, Late-Stage Venture
  • Notable Portfolio Companies: Eologix, Meat Food Tech Oy, xFarm Technologies

Emerald Technology Ventures is at the intersection of industry and technology. Since 2000, the company has pioneered innovation in the climate change and sustainability sectors. The firm manages over €1 billion in assets from its multiple offices in Zurich, Toronto, and Singapore.

Emerald has over 70 companies in their current portfolio with 35 different active investors and affiliates. Entrepreneurs seeking funding can gain access to the expertise, experience, and network that Emerald Technology Ventures has. They are able to help entrepreneurs access global partners while simultaneously entering new markets.

10. Ecosystem Integrity Fund

  • Location: San Francisco, California
  • Stage: Early-Stage Venture, Late-Stage Venture
  • Notable Portfolio Companies: Diverse Angels, AME

As the name implies, the Ecosystem Integrity Fund is focused on investing in companies that create solutions with the environment in mind. They want to put their money into companies that are positively impacting climate change, food and water security, and natural resource conservation.

Ecosystem Integrity has a wide range of investments in renewable energy, electric vehicles, distributed energy, and sustainable agriculture. The firm believes that investing in sustainable companies not only improves the lives of everyone around the world, but financial gains can help promote more sustainable practices.

11. Regenr8

  • Location: Singapore
  • Stage: Seed
  • Notable Portfolio Companies: N/A

Regener8 only invests in companies that are building a regenerative future in the face of world problems like climate change, biodiversity loss, and rising inequality. The firm looks for purpose-driven founders that have scalable startups based on technology.

Food and water, energy and the environment, circularity and zero waste, and social inclusion are all areas of focus for Regener8. The company has made investments in sustainable seafood, clean water tech, and carbon-negative materials.

12. Astanor Ventures

  • Location: Brussels, Belgium
  • Stage: Early-Stage Venture, Late-Stage Venture
  • Notable Portfolio Companies: MicroHarvest, Standing Ovation, Current Foods

Astanor Ventures is solely focused on helping regenerate our food ecosystem, whether it be in the ocean or on dry land. Astanor goes beyond the entrepreneur and investor and looks to farmers, chefs, policymakers, and food lovers to create a rich network of diversity.

The firm has a list of priorities that help inform its investing decisions. Highly disruptive and scalable new technology companies that focus on sustainability, regenerative agriculture, and the circular economy are all of high interest to Astanor.

13. Social Impact Capital

  • Location: New York, New York
  • Stage: Early-Stage Venture, Seed
  • Notable Portfolio Companies: Optivolt, Voyage Foods, Leverage

Social Impact Capital works differently than most investment firms in that its main mission is to help grow and promote mission-driven founders to become more attractive to top-tier VCs. They maintain an 89% rate on follow-on investments and a 100% follow-on rate overall.

Social Impact is led by Sarah Cone, who started the firm in 2016 and uses the “impact arbitrage” strategy of investing. The firm is one of the few women-led VC firms in the country.

14. Obvious Ventures

  • Location: San Francisco, California
  • Stage: Early-Stage Venture, Late-Stage Venture, Seed
  • Notable Portfolio Companies: Austin Software, Incredible Health, Lightship

Obvious Ventures, like most other companies on this list, believe that by investing in companies that solve systemic problems in a profitable way, they can generate both positive social and environmental change.

The firm’s strategy is to invest early in companies that have the potential to become “world positive” businesses. They are looking for companies that have a large market opportunity, a talented team, and a business model that can scale quickly.

15. Human Ventures

  • Location: New York, New York
  • Stage: Early-Stage Venture, Seed
  • Notable Portfolio Companies: Adelaide, Glow Labs, Whoosh

Human Ventures is part VC firm, part studio, and part enterprise agency. They combine all three to create an entire business creation platform for startups and founders. They are focused on industries that address significant human needs.

Human Ventures believes that instead of investing in a business model, they want to invest in model businesses. The three core elements that make a model business are solving real human problems, unit economics that scale, and a deep sense of responsibility.

16. Aqua-Spark

  • Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Stage: Early-Stage Venture
  • Notable Portfolio Companies: Protix Biosystems, eFishery, Proteon Therapeutics

While most VC firms on this list are focused on all areas of earth regeneration, Aqua-Spark focuses primarily on our waters. The mission is to change the aquaculture industry to be more healthy, sustainable, and create affordable production with financial returns.

The firm helps the oceans and waterways by creating solutions for greener feed ingredients, efficient feeding, and better disease management.

17. Fresh Ventures

  • Location: San Francisco, California
  • Stage: Early-Stage Venture, Seed
  • Notable Portfolio Companies: Smart Doctor, Multis

Fresh Ventures takes an alternative approach to social impact and focuses on improving the workplace. The aim is to make work more productive by including digital transformation tools for SaaS and mobile, creating better workflows using automation, and integrating data and APIs.

The firm is unique in that it is led by one person who does what he can to help workplace-focused companies thrive. Entrepreneurs will receive support, coaching, and mentoring to build a strong strategy for efficient execution.

18. Tin Shed Ventures

  • Location: Ventura, California
  • Stage: Early-Stage Venture, Late-Stage Venture, Seed
  • Notable Portfolio Companies: NuMat Technologies, California Safe Soil, Yerdle

Tin Shed Ventures is one of the newest firms on this list, but it’s already making a name for itself. The firm focuses on sustainability and regenerative technologies with an emphasis on food and agriculture, water, energy, and waste.

The VC firm is the venture side of the popular outdoor company Patagonia. The team has a lot of experience with natural resource companies and is passionate about using technology to help preserve our planet.

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