Author Archive

Success of Three Early UK Social Impact Bonds

July 22, 2015  |   CDVCA Ventures Blog,Member News   |     |   Comments Off on Success of Three Early UK Social Impact Bonds

Three early UK social impact bonds have been successful in paying back investors ahead of schedule. Two of the three SIBs, Career Connect and Teens & Toddlers, were backed by member CDVC fund Bridges Ventures and have been recommissioned for a second round. Andrew Levitt, investment director at Bridges Ventures and a board member for the UK-based Career Connect SIB, said: “The Career Connect story provides demonstrable proof that the excitement around social impact bonds isn’t just a case of hype over substance. The structure of the funding allowed Career Connect to experiment with new approaches, while the clear feedback loops inherent to the SIB model helped them to identify the most effective and focus their programme to reflect that. With a standard contract, none of this could have happened.” Read more >>

Senate Approves Tax Extenders Legislation

July 22, 2015  |   CDVCA Ventures Blog,Public Policy   |     |   Comments Off on Senate Approves Tax Extenders Legislation

The Senate Finance Committee approved on July 21, 2015 a tax extender package.  The bill includes an amendment by Senator Cardin to increase NMTC credit authority to $3.94 billion for 2015 and 2016. The cost of the amendment is $230 million over the 10 year scoring period.  From 2008 to 2015, inflation reduced the Credit by 12%.  Cardin’s amendment provides what amounts to an inflation adjustment. It is the first increase in NMTC since enactment of the American Renewal and Recovery Act in 2009.

NY Times: The Good Jobs Strategy

July 08, 2015  |   CDVCA Ventures Blog   |     |   Comments Off on NY Times: The Good Jobs Strategy

New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Joe Nocera writes about the interest in the good jobs strategy in an op-ed piece released yesterday. Excerpt: At the Aspen Ideas Festival — an annual summer gabfest that presents all sorts of interesting ideas, from the improbable to the important — one of the big themes this year was jobs. How will America close the skills gap? Where will the good middle-class jobs of the future come from? I heard pleas for infrastructure spending as a job strategy, and creating jobs by unleashing our energy resources. There were speakers who believed that innovation would bring good jobs, and speakers who feared that some of those innovations — in robotics, for instance — would destroy good jobs. And then there was Zeynep Ton. A 40-year-old adjunct associate professor at the Sloan School of Management at M.I.T., Ton brought one of the most radical, and yet one of the most sensible, ideas to Aspen this year. Her big idea is that companies that provide employees a decent living, which includes not just pay but also a sense of purpose and empowerment at work, can be every bit as profitable as companies that strive to keep their labor costs low by paying the minimum wage with no benefits. Maybe even more profitable. Getting there requires companies to adopt what Ton calls “human-centered operations strategies,” which she acknowledges is “neither quick nor easy.” But it’s worth it, she ...

VIDEO: Bridges Ventures Portfolio Companies

July 01, 2015  |   CDVCA Ventures Blog,Member News   |     |   Comments Off on VIDEO: Bridges Ventures Portfolio Companies

CDVCA member fund Bridges Ventures has released a few short films of four of their portfolio companies: The Gym Group (Sustainable Growth Fund II) WholeBake (Sustainable Growth Fund III) Edmund Street (Bridges Sustainable Property Fund) The Old Vinyl Factory (Bridges Property Alternatives Fund III) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZ2LGwNsHKg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRkRXMMf6uY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L00Oi5HvGA4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEJLDOwo9iI

Cambridge Associates and GIIN Launch the Impact Investing Benchmark

June 26, 2015  |   CDVCA Ventures Blog,Industry News   |     |   Comments Off on Cambridge Associates and GIIN Launch the Impact Investing Benchmark

Cambridge Associates, a global investment firm, in partnership with the Global Impact Investing Network, introduced a report containing findings from the first comprehensive analysis of the financial performance of market rate private equity and venture capital impact investing funds. Despite a perception that impact investing means concessionary returns, the Impact Investing Benchmark has exhibited strong performance of impact investment funds over time. View the report here.

VCs Serve As Sources of Funding for 6.5% of Inc. Fast-Growing Firms

June 26, 2015  |   CDVCA Ventures Blog,Industry News   |     |   Comments Off on VCs Serve As Sources of Funding for 6.5% of Inc. Fast-Growing Firms

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation shared a finding that a main source of equity financing for new firms is VCs. The finding reports that venture-backed companies have faster employee growth, greater sales, and faster sales growth. These companies also professionalize earlier, have an increased likelihood of an Initial Public Offering (IPO), and have greater post-IPO survival rates. Read more.

Bridges Ventures Announces Final Close of Bridges Property Alternatives Fund III

June 26, 2015  |   CDVCA Ventures Blog,Member News   |     |   Comments Off on Bridges Ventures Announces Final Close of Bridges Property Alternatives Fund III

Bridges Ventures, which manages several community development venture capital funds that are members of CDVCA, has closed on a real estate investment fund, Bridges Property Alternatives Fund III, with equity commitments of £212m – ahead of its original £200m target. The fund will focus on investments in low-income communities in the UK. This is the largest fund the firm has raised for any investment strategy to date. The Fund invests in direct property and property-backed businesses, focusing on regeneration areas, buildings showing environmental leadership, and niche sectors being affected by changing demographics and consumer needs – including healthcare, education, SME business space and affordable residential accommodation. Since its first close on more than £120m of equity commitments in April 2014, the Fund has successfully completed six deals in less than a year. Following these deals, about 40% of the Fund's capital has already been invested and committed. Read more.

SJF Ventures Invests in Raise.me

June 24, 2015  |   CDVCA Ventures Blog,Member News   |     |   Comments Off on SJF Ventures Invests in Raise.me

SJF Ventures has announced its investment in California-based Raise.me, a company that empowers students to earn “micro-scholarships” throughout high school for their individual achievements. For higher-education professionals in admissions, financial aid or enrollment, Raise.me is a new way to get the word out about their schools and scholarships. It also allows them to connect with and attract a more diverse range of prospective students, including from populations that are underrepresented on their campuses. Read more.

Bridges Ventures Makes First U.S. Investment with Springboard Education

June 24, 2015  |   CDVCA Ventures Blog,Member News   |     |   Comments Off on Bridges Ventures Makes First U.S. Investment with Springboard Education

CDVCA member fund Bridges Ventures recently announced its first investment in the United States with Springboard Education, a provider of affordable before- and after-school educational programming to 6,000 children at 52 public and charter schools. In addition to the financial investment, Bridges Ventures will also bring in experienced educators to the board of directors, help recruit additional team members, create opportunities for new school partnerships, and increase scholarships for disadvantaged students. Overall, the investment in Springboard Education will help increase accessibility to its programs, allowing tens of thousands of children cross the U.S. to be served. This first investment by Bridges' U.S. office builds on over a decade long's focus on education-sector investment by Bridges Ventures' principles in the U.S. and the U.K. Read more. 

Early Tesla Motors Investors Raise $400 Million Impact VC Fund

June 24, 2015  |   CDVCA Ventures Blog,Industry News   |     |   Comments Off on Early Tesla Motors Investors Raise $400 Million Impact VC Fund

Ira Ehrenpreis and Nancy Pfund, two early investors in Tesla Motors Inc., have raised a $400 million venture capital fund as part of San Francisco venture firm DBL Partners. DBL and its predecessor fund, J.P. Morgan Bay Area Equity Fund, invested early in companies such as Tesla and Pandora Media. DBL’s definition of social impact is open-ended, from a commitment to diversity–three of the five startups the new fund already backed are founded by women, for example, to producing clean energy, to enabling reuse of materials in a supply chain, to creating employment in economically depressed locations. DBL will use the new fund to make investments of about $10 million to $20 million per company, in a variety of sectors, including clean tech, health care and information technology. Ms. Pfund said that most investments will be for early-stage startups. Read more.