Anne Hathaway backs Pact, an all-women led VC for mission-driven startups, from West to East

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How many VC funds are you able to identify the place the three companions all had infants while elevating the fund, have deep connections in Asia in addition to Europe and the US, and embrace actress Anne Hathaway as an LP? Not many I’d hazard.

But that’s the profile of Pact, a brand new Seed VC fund launched with a £30 million ($36 million) pot of money to again early-stage startups throughout Europe. Pact will intention at ‘mission driven’ startups in what it calls the “ABC” classes: Access (financial inclusion), Betterment (private {and professional} well-being), and Climate. (That’s a way more attention-grabbing approach of addressing ‘doing good’ areas, as a substitute of that trotting out the UN SDGs, IMHO). Pact’s funding tickets will vary from round £1m to 1.5m.

As nicely as Anne Hathaway (she’s not ‘just’ an Oscar Award Winning Actor, but in addition a UN Woman Goodwill Ambassador), different LPs embrace Jeff Dean, the Head of AI at Google, and Keith Teare, a founding (and former) shareholder of TechCrunch and former tech entrepreneur within the UK and US.

They are joined by Anchor investor Campden Hill Capital; Yeming Wang, the previous head of EMEA of Alibaba; Fahd Beg, the COO of Naspers; Todd Ruppert, the retired CEO of T. Rowe Price Global and enterprise companion at Greenspring Associates, and Tilo Bonow, CEO of PIABO. 

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The three feminine companions — Tong Gu, Reem Mobassaleh Wyndham, and Monik Pham — have been former VCs in different funds. Gu was an investor at ADV (of which Teare was previously an element) and constructed a knowledge analytics startup in Shanghai which she exited. Wyndham was additionally an investor for ADV and a former founder. Pham was a part of the founding crew of the early-stage fund Fuel Ventures and launched a number of social enterprises in Africa and India.

Speaking to Reem Mobassaleh Wyndham, she instructed me they’d been elevating the fund for a bit over a yr (throughout their pregnancies and first youngsters) however the thought had been “in the works” for about 5 – 6 years: “We both joined ADV the same week. And we met Monique around the same time. What we observed within the early stage landscape in the UK was a few key things that were missing. There are very few early-stage fund managers that have both operational experience and deep operational experience abroad in emerging markets. And that’s something that the three of us, in a very complimentary way, bring to the table.”

“We believe that capitalism should and can be inclusive while still producing huge results,” she added. “And we really want it to be able to back companies at the early stage that are really positively shaping the future. We’ve all built our careers with that Northstar as a guide for us. It’s a value that we’ve always espoused, but it’s only now at this point that the market is really coming around to it. There shouldn’t be a trade off between socially sustainable, environmentally sustainable and commercially sustainable outcomes. You have to think about both. And that’s a value that all three of us came together on,” she mentioned.

Tong Gu instructed me: “I grew up in China, and I witnessed how entrepreneurship and technology have enabled a large population of people who used to be under the poverty line to become wealthier and make their lives better. I started a tech company enabling independent small brand owners to compete with the larger ones. And for me, that was the experience of really driving economic inclusion, but in sort of a tech-enabled way.”

Wyndham admitted “it’s not a huge fund”. However, she mentioned the £30 million ought to get them sufficient corporations to get the “healthy diversification” wanted for fund returns: “We could do 18 to 20 companies, either leading or co-leading. We’ve been very thoughtful about how we have curated our LP base. So the LPS that have come in are strategic and they provide domain expertise, and market access, but they also provide capital continuity. The vast majority are looking for access to deal flow. So in that sense, this is actually scaling our firepower beyond the 30 million.”

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On having a Hollywood moviestar amongst their LPs, Wyndham added: “She’s actually a friend of mine and mentor of about 12 years and since then we’ve become friends and have shared values. One of her big causes is childcare, and lack thereof, as the final frontier for gender parity. And that’s something that we’ve experienced firsthand as three female GPs who all had our first children while raising this fund. We had to figure out how to overcome the structural headwinds to be able to do both. That’s very much one of the lessons that we hope to share with the ecosystem, and that’s sort of where Anne comes in.”

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Pact’s first funding has been made into Growth Kitchen, a London-based firm that launches sustainable meals manufacturers primarily based on knowledge insights.

Past investments for the crew members of Pact embrace Clause acquired by DocuSign. Onto, an electrical automobile subscription service; Perlego, an on-line studying platform; and Yoco, an African FinTech firm.

Anne Hathaway backs Pact, an all-women led VC for mission-driven startups, from West to East by Mike Butcher initially printed on TechCrunch

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