a16z Podcast | Investing in Communities | Summary and Q&A

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January 2, 2019
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a16z Podcast | Investing in Communities

TL;DR

Keisha Cash discusses impact investing, its importance in underserved communities, and the potential for technology to address societal challenges.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is impact investing and how does it differ from traditional investing?

Impact investing involves investing in companies or organizations that generate financial returns as well as social and environmental returns. It can take different forms depending on the investor's desired impact and financial returns.

Q: How is social impact measured in impact investing?

Organizations like GEAR and Transform Finance provide frameworks and metrics for impact measurement. Investors may look at factors such as job creation, value chain impact, and social or environmental outcomes.

Q: How does Impact America Fund define underserved communities?

Underserved communities are seen as markets with untapped potential and high potential for growth. These communities often face inefficiencies and lack access to technology, business infrastructure, and financial services.

Q: What is the role of impact investing in relation to traditional venture capital?

Impact investing has the potential to address market failures and provide capital to underserved communities. By collaborating with traditional venture capital firms, impact investors can introduce technology and business solutions to these communities.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Keisha Cash discusses the changing landscape of early stage investing and the increase in interest from new angels and investors in the tech industry.

  • Impact America Fund focuses on investing in underserved companies that have a social impact, providing support and education to new investors.

  • The lack of capital available for early-stage and seed investments in impact companies is a clear gap in the market, as highlighted by JPMorgan and the Global Impact Investment Network's recent survey.

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