Impact Investing is not new and has been around since the 1960’s, if not before. Since that time we’ve seen a lot of success stories coming from impact investments. With these successes we’re also seeing significant amounts of dollars under management by impact investing funds with returns of 25% and up PLUS social and environmental impact.
Given the lack of early stage startup funding for impact companies, uncertainties with cleantech technologies, lack of governance in developing countries, lack of structured capital markets and exit opportunities in third world countries and the need to provide social and/or environmental impact, it’s a wonder that impact companies can return anything at all to investors.
In our research we’ve found many funds and foundations that have achieved financial success in making impact investments, but it’s sometimes difficult to find specific impact investments that have hit it big. What is the next “Instagram” of Impact Investing?
Here is a story of a company that hit it big. The good news is that they are not alone and that impact companies are doing well all the time.
d.light (http://www.dlightdesign.com) has created a product line of solar powered lanterns that bring light and power to third world communities where community electricity is not available. D.light makes high quality, affordable solar lanterns that are distributed world-wide with over half a million units delivered each month, delivering light to over 20 million individuals and families. The users pay less for solar lighting than traditional kerosene lanterns, plus the lighting allows for greater productivity and income generation when people can work beyond daylight hours. Students benefit from better study environments and homes are safer and healthier without kerosene fumes. Finally, the reduction in carbon emissions is significant. The statistics below show the social and environmental impacts of this company that is turning a good profit at the same time.
25,315,130 lives empowered
6,328,782 school-aged children reached with solar lighting
$767,644,065 saved in energy-related expenses
7,219,013,138 productive hours created for working and studying
1,794,878 tons of CO2 offset
30,807,967 kWh generated from renewable energy source
d.light has won numerous certifications and awards and is backed by an impressive collection of venture funds and foundations – all expecting to turn a profit on their investments. D.light is a “B Corporation” which means that it is a for profit corporation, but that it must meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.
At Rockies Venture Club we hope to find companies like this each December at our Impact Investing Event and support local companies that are doing good all over the world.
To learn more about impact investing and to meet the founders of four great impact companies, consider attending the RVC Impact Investing event Tuesday, December 10th 5:00-7:30PM at the Colorado State University Denver Center Event Atrium 475 17th Street, Suite 200 Denver, CO. Click Here to Register