Impact investing has grown up.
Originally associated with environmental and sustainability causes, the concept is now expanding to include diversity issues, social impact, healthcare and food access and more. Today, it’s about investing in companies that are generating meaningful, beneficial impacts on society alongside positive financial returns.
At iSelect, we believe that these two goals – impact and performance — are not mutually exclusive. While our investments in the private markets are making a difference, supporting emerging companies that are solving critical global issues in healthcare, agriculture and more, we’re doing so without overlooking performance. This is all possible because iSelect is a research-driven organization that’s dedicated to deep diligence and careful execution. Every investment we make is fully vetted by one of the best investment teams in venture, leveraging the experience of 175+ subject matter expert advisors and based on more than 120 hours of diligence research on the more than 1,200 companies we consider every year.
Yes, iSelect is focused on creating a future without hunger and promoting good health and well-being worldwide, but not without a focus on positive financial returns along the way.
Consider a sample of our 50+ portfolio companies and the impacts each of them are making on their markets and the world.
|Benson Hill is working to develop sustainable, nutrient-dense crops to help feed the world. The company’s crop design platform is tapping the natural genetic diversity of today’s food crops, resulting in healthier, more sustainable, higher-yielding food choices. Benson Hill’s plant breeding, transgenics, and genome editing programs can develop better seeds for planting in half the time and cost of conventional methods.|
|Geltor is creating animal-free alternative proteins. Today, most of the collagen proteins that are used in beauty and cosmetic products come from animal sources. But Geltor is working to change that, designing sustainable, animal-free proteins using its proprietary fermentation processes that’s cheaper and more scalable than traditional techniques.|
|Bonumose is developing healthy, natural sugars. Sweeteners don’t have to be bad for you. Bonumose is commercializing low-glycemic index, low-calorie, healthy natural sugars through its proprietary, cost-effective enzymatic process. This could someday supplant traditional sugar consumption, which has been linked to diseases like obesity, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.|
|Vestaron is replacing chemical pesticides with biologicals. Unlike many of the synthetic chemicals that are used for insecticidal crop protection, Vestaron’s peptides are safe for humans and mammals, birds, fish, pollinators, and the environment. At the same time, these biological alternatives have proven as effective against crop-specific pests as traditional synthetic chemicals are.|
|Cofactor Genomics is accelerating drug discovery to improve personalized medicine. By focusing on RNA, Cofactor’s patented precision medicine technology profiles a patient’s cancer tumors to identify which immune cells are present and how they are interacting in the body. This multidimensional approach is proving to be faster and more accurate than the industry’s single biomarker standard, delivering on the promise of personalized medicine.|
|SciBac is on the front lines in the fight against antibiotic resistance. The world’s bacteria are winning the fight against many common antibiotics, putting all of us at risk. SciBac’s technology is developing live biotherapeutics to treat and prevent antibiotic-resistant disease while fortifying the human microbiome against future outbreaks.|
|Molecular Assemblies is creating a new way to write DNA. The company’s enzymatic DNA synthesis platform technology is being used to develop new products in synthetic biology, personalized therapeutics, precision diagnostics, data storage, nanotechnology, and more. Molecular Assemblies is impacting two markets: Addressing the need for DNA in life sciences, and the emerging and potentially massive market for data storage.|
|Holobiome is tapping the gut for new treatments for nervous system disorders. According to the company’s research, there are bacteria in our guts that are capable of modulating host neurotransmitters and can be used to treat everything from insomnia, to depression and more. It’s all based on the emerging field of medical research focused on the gut-brain axis and the potential market is huge.|
Every one of these companies, and much of the iSelect portfolio, would qualify as an impact investment. But that doesn’t mean we’re ignoring financial returns.
As mentioned, every investment that iSelect makes is subjected to 120+ hours of due diligence research, fully analyzed by our expert network of selection committee members and subject to ongoing oversight after investment.
We do this not because we want to limit our reach, but because we want to make sure we’re supporting those companies that are best positioned to make a real difference.
That’s what investing with impact means to iSelect.
Join us for iSelect CEO Carter Williams’ upcoming webinar, Venture Investing at the Nexus of Food and Health on Sept 8th at 11a CT/12p EST.