Good Capital, a San Francisco-based social venture capital firm, recently announced a $200,000 subordinated loan to Root Capital, a nonprofit social enterprise that serves rural communities in developing countries. As a part of this investment, Good Capital and Root Capital have developed a multi-year partnership that will focus on finding marketing strategies to build Root Capital's brand and increase its capacity for additional growth.
Root Capital provides capital, delivers financial training, and strengthens market connections to small and growing businesses – such as farmer cooperatives – that build sustainable livelihoods and transform rural communities in poor, environmentally vulnerable places. According to the organization, it has provided more than $200 million in loans to 282 small and growing businesses in 30 countries in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa and has a 99% repayment rate from its borrowers and a 100% repayment rate to investors.
"We have found a non-profit partner willing and able to take on our kind of growth capital to accelerate their social impact and to participate in a deep engagement that aligns our resources and talents with their needs and strategic goals," said Kevin Jones, Partner and Co-founder of Good Capital. "Root Capital provides the global reach, measurable impact and stable financial basis that was already making a huge difference in the world, where Good Capital's unique mix of talent and resources can add something new and essential."
"We are excited about our partnership with Good Capital and are looking forward to working with them to strengthen our brand and build the critical marketing and communication tools needed to grow our impact," said William Foote, CEO and Founder of Root Capital. "This partnership will help us to strategically identify both the financial and human capital resources needed for us to reach our long-term goals."
"It has been a goal of ours to show that it is possible to invest in a wide spectrum of companies with a baked in social mission that ranges from for-profit to nonprofit," said Tim Freundlich, Partner and Co-founder of Good Capital. "Root Capital exemplifies what a high performing nonprofit can be, while this engagement demonstrates the abilities of Good Capital to engage deeply across this spectrum."
The next Hanson Bridgett Sustainable Business Leadership Forum, a networking and educational program, will take place on January 7, 2010 and will feature Dr. Joy Anderson, President and Founder of Criterion Ventures and a Founder of Good Capital.
Criterion Ventures is a national firm that identifies, examines and solves social problems on a large scale by launching social ventures – either for clients or as entrepreneurs. Criterion works across discipline and sector with large non-profits, faith-based institutions, foundations and individuals to develop solutions in areas like impact investing, aging, healthcare, education, energy and the environment, poverty and more.
This event will take place from 5:30 – 8:00 PM at Hanson Bridgett, 425 Market Street, 26th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105 (directions). The admission fee is $45. Space is limited and pre-registration is required.
Good Capital, the San Francisco-based manager of the Social Enterprise Expansion Fund, recently announced that it closed a $1 million investment in Adina for Life, a lifestyle brand focused on organic, Fair Trade coffee drinks, and other healthful beverages. This investment is part of a $9 million round, part of which was announced earlier this year and was led by Sherbrooke Capital.
“Demand for our delicious, life sustaining drinks has been growing tremendously and is now at an inflection point," said Greg Steltenpohl, Chairman and Co-founder of Adina. "We are taking our organic and Fair Trade beverages straight to mainstream American consumers. We are excited to have Good Capital’s investment because of their unique focus on growing businesses that also contribute to positive social change."
Adina was founded in 2004, launched its first line of juice coolers in 2005, and introduced its organic, Fair Trade Certified(TM) ready-to-drink coffees and teas in 2007.
For more information:
Better World Books, a Mishawaka, Indiana-based for-profit social enterprise that operates an online bookstore to fund literacy initiatives, has received $4.5 million in a Series A Preferred round of funding. This round was led by Good Capital, which invested $2.5 million from its Social Enterprise Expansion Fund. Eighteen private individuals also invested a total of $2 million in this round. Kevin Jones, Principal and Co-founder of Good Capital, will also join the Board of Directors of Better World Books.
In the press release announcing this investment, Better World Books CEO David Murphy said:
This investment from Good Capital and other private investors will have a huge impact on our ability to promote and support literacy on a much bigger scale around the world. Better World Books was founded on a simple belief that businesses can do good and do well at the same time. We are thrilled that Good Capital and our other partners have embraced Better World Books’ unique model with growth capital that protects our core values while providing the acceleration to help us expand our business.
Better World Books has more than two million new and used titles in stock in its online bookstore. It acquires its used inventory through partnerships with more than 1,600 college campuses and 900 libraries nationwide. Since its founding in 2003, Better World Books has raised $4.5 million for its non-profit literacy, library and college partners; saved more than 6,500 tons of books from landfills; and achieved 2,400 tons of carbon offsets through carbon-neutral shipping. The company generated more than $16 million in revenue in 2007.
The following video provides additional information on the impact of Better World Books.
For more information:
Do-Gooder Finance (and related sidebar Social Capital) is an article in the February 2008 issue of Inc. that highlights social venture capital firms and banks that support social entrepreneurs. The article includes information on the experiences of two social entrepreneurs who obtaining funding from these sources — Priya Haji, founder of World of Good, who obtained a line of credit from RSF Social Finance, Root Capital, and Shared Interest; and Charlie Crystle, founder of Mission Reseach, who obtained funding from Underdog Ventures. Other funding sources mentioned in the article and sidebar include Good Capital, New Resource Bank, ShoreBank Pacific, and TBL Capital.
For more information: