Venture Capital firm Giant Leap has raised more than $45 million to launch a second impact fund called ‘Giant Leap II’ as the company pushes on with its mission to support sustainability-focused startups.
Backed by NRMA, entrepreneurs Kate Morris and Dom Pym, and venture capital veteran Roger Allan, Giant Leap II is more than triple the size of the firm’s inaugural fund which raised $15 million.
To date, Giant Leap says it has raised more than $65 million across its funds to invest in Australian impact startups it defines as having a ‘tangible environmental or societal benefit embedded in its business model so that every dollar of revenue generated is inherently linked to the generation of measurable positive outcome’.
Though the raise for Giant Leap II has just closed, the firm says the new fund has already deployed capital in several startups including psychology-based pain management app MoreGoodDays, climate tech platform Trace and ed-tech Hex.
Melbourne-based Giant Leap says it aims to grow its portfolio of investments to 25 within the next five years, and notes that its current portfolio boasts a 55 per cent rate of women-led businesses.
“We started Giant Leap as a means of funding and tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges. As of FY22, Giant Leap’s portfolio diverted 1,103 tonnes from landfill, saved the healthcare system $42.4 million and helped 2,503 people due to reduced bias in the hiring process or improved access to employment,” says Giant Leap managing partner Will Richardson.
“But in addition, Giant Leap has tackled some key challenges in Australian business a lot closer to home, such as diversity. We’ve committed to ensuring that 55 per cent of our portfolio consists of women-led businesses. We also continue to look at ways to improve our funds exposure to other forms of founder diversity.
“This is all in line with our belief that investing with purpose leads to greater returns. The companies we work with have an unfair advantage on their competitors due to their ability to win both talent and recognition for their broader contribution to society and the environment.”
With the company’s latest benchmark report revealing that around 22 per cent of all venture deals completed in Australia last year funded impact companies, Richardson says he is excited about the future of impact investing.
“We’re continually inspired by the work that’s going on aboard. But I also believe Australia has come a long way in the past five years regarding its contribution to the impact investing trend,” he says.
“Closing this fund is yet more proof that this is fast becoming a mainstream means of investing -- and society and the environment will stand to benefit from that.”
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