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TSEF invests in software and services designed to help low income communities and organizations that serve them

 
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Location: San Francisco, Kenya

 

Based in San Francisco, with a satellite office in Nairobi, Kenya, Angaza Design’s mission is to eliminate a major barrier to the adoption of clean energy in underserved markets: a lack of end-user financing. Over 1.2 Billion people around the world lack access to grid electricity and many more experience highly irregular service. The off-grid population typically purchases kerosene fuel and disposable batteries or burns wood to meet their energy needs, spending over $50 Billion per year and experiencing a range of health risks. Rather than tackling this issue with loans, Angaza’s SaaS product enables distributors to offer Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) pricing. At the simplest level, Angaza allows a solar distributor to enable or disable a device in response to daily or weekly, mobile-based payments until a product is fully paid for. The company’s embedded M2M data transfer technologies and a cloud-based SaaS platform to enable manufacturers and distributors to achieve a 5x sales increase by offering products with Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) pricing. Additionally, Angaza leverages usage and diagnostic data collected from every PAYG unit sold to predict customer credit risk, manage salesforce credit allocation and provide automated, remote after-sales support.

Location: Austin, TX

 

Aunt Bertha’s mission is to make human service program information more accessible to those in need in order to help more people reach self-sufficiency. In the United States there are 89,000 government organizations, over a million public charities and more than 300,000 congregations. Many of these organizations offer programs designed to help people with food, health, housing or education needs. But navigating through the information available can be intimidating – and all too often people give up and fall further into crisis. By organizing the world’s human service program information, people can easily find out which programs they qualify for in a matter of seconds. Aunt Bertha also helps human service organizations administer programs better by offering easy-to-use web-based case management software.

Location: New York

 

now owned by the Worker’s Benefit Fund, BeneStream offers large employers of low income workers help with Medicaid enrollment.  As a result companies decrease the cost of healthcare and lower turnover.  Workers get help finding the best affordable coverage and learning if they qualify for other government assistance programs, such as food stamps.

Location: San Francisco

Carbon Lighthouse has developed a software and data analysis platform that makes implementing energy efficiency projects 10x more effective with no capital expenditures.  The company installs remote sensors across commercial real estate portfolios to help landlords optimize daily operations, increase savings and measure carbon impact.

Location: New York

Climb Credit is a financing platform for career and technical education (CTE) with a mission to expand access to quality education, and a vision to be the leading platform for discovery, assessment, and financing for those looking to increase their earning potential. Climb’s proprietary ROI calculation looks at the net cost of the vocational program (including tuition amount and lost wages while attending school) and compares that to the expected salary growth—all while factoring in the likelihood of graduation and job placement. They only partner with schools that have been vetted for quality and deliver results for students.

Location: Monterrey, Mexico

Clínicas del Azúcar offers low cost high quality diabetes care to low income Mexicans who have few other options for affordable care.  With a subscription model, patients have access to a nutritionist, a doctor, blood work and prescriptions.   Clinicas uses evidence-based algorithms for disease management and has reduced diabetes-related complications by sixty percent across the 120,000 patients they have seen. As of 2020, the company has 16 clinics and is offering telemedicine services in addition to in person visits during the pandemic.

 

Location: UK, US, Nepal, Kenya
 

CloudFactory was founded in Kathmandu, Nepal in 2010 to create meaningful employment opportunities by creating a distributed on-demand workforce. The company’s vision is to train one million cloud workers by offering flexible, well-paying and experience-building jobs with particular expertise in data entry and categorization as well as data tagging for machine learning applications. Their innovative platform allows cloud workers to work directly with clients and has connected 7,000 people in Nepal and Kenya to online work.

 

Location: Mason, Ohio
 

ConnXus helps grow small, woman, minority and veteran owned businesses by connecting them to Fortune 2000 corporate buyers. For large corporates, the company's cloud-based supplier management platform streamlines the administration of supplier diversity, cost-savings and resilance deepening initiatives.

 

Location: New York, NY
 

Driver’s mission is to improve road safety by providing the best-in-class, AI-based automotive technology to any individual with a smartphone across the world. Globally, 50 million people are seriously injured or killed in road traffic accidents each year. We believe this number should be zero. Driver partners with leading automative insurance providers to offer drivers steep discounts on insurance based on usage.

Location: New York, Sub-Saharan Africa

 

First Access combines financial and mobile data to reliably predict credit risk for borrowers in informal markets. First Access scores dramatically reduce costs and risk for lending institutions enabling lower interest rates and expanded access to financial services for the underserved. 

 

Location: Mexico, Colombia, Spain and the United States

 

Frogtek helps small shopkeepers in Mexico manage their inventories through a free tablet-based software tracking system.  The resulting data offers valuable insights into the purchasing behavior of mom and pop shops for consumer packaged good companies.  Frogtek collects data from  almost 3,000 shops across Mexico.

Location: New York, Liberia

 

Liberty & Justice (L&J) is an African manufacturing company and creator of the UNIFORM clothing label.  L&J was established to transform the apparel supply chain from worker exploitation and environmental degradation to partnership and sustainability.  The company offers supply chain transparency to a network of African apparel manufacturers. 

 

Location: New York

 

Petal Card is a fintech direct to consumer credit card startup, offering credit lines to the millions of Americans without access to credit cards due to thin or no credit file history and scores. Today, ~65 million consumers in the U.S. lack a representative credit score - consumers are either new to credit (and thus penalized with a lower credit score) or have a weak credit score based on inappropriate measures of creditworthiness. Petal expands access to credit by leveraging a cash flow-based underwriting technique, monitoring cash flows into and out of an individual's bank account to determine their creditworthiness. The credit card is paired with a user friendly app and financial literacy modules. The result is an underwriting technology that scores more consumers, more accurately, and enables the extension of credit in better alignment with borrower risk profile, and with lower APRs than traditional credit card offers and no fees.  Petal has the potential to extend access to credit to millions of Americans who were previously unable to access credit.

Location: India 

 

PharmaSecure is a software and techonology company based in India working to improve public health using mobile phones.  The company offers SMS text based drug authentication to verify secure supply chains with over 4 billion products secured and 100 + clients.

Location: Las Vegas

 

Pigeonly provides a simple, affordable way for inmates to stay in touch with their families.  Offering VOIP low cost phone calls, photos, letters and money transfers, as well as the largest national inmate directory.

 

Location: San Francisco

 

Bad nutrition directly causes serious medical conditions that you spend millions of dollars managing each year. Zipongo empowers your employees and health plan members to improve their nutrition, cutting your costs and improving overall engagement, productivity, and loyalty.

 

For a fraction of the price of comparable diabetes prevention  programs (DPPs), Zipongo builds nutritious, healthy eating habits that have shown to have sustained impact, lowering risk of nutrition-related chronic disease. Integrations with local grocery stores allow discounts to be applied through the app, and online grocery ordering takes shoppers away from the targeted advertising of unhealthy food options.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

TSEF in the News & Publications

Why Would a Finance Firm Invest in Low-Income Communities? - Worth

February 25, 2020

Liz Luckett’s VC fund bets on technology to lessen inequality.

The Social Entrepreneurs’ Fund on The Value of Small Data in Fund Evaluation

June 01, 2020

Founder Liz Luckett was interviewed by Riddle, a podcast spotlighting impact investing leaders and their work. In the podcast, Liz expands on the way we can use small data to evaluate investment opportunities, the risks of algorithms in large data, and how organizations within the fund are already creating impact in the world during COVID-19.

Liz Luckett published in SSIR

February 16, 2018

Small Data for Big Impact: TSEF Managing Partner, Liz Luckett's recent article on the TSEF Investment Thesis in the Stanford Social Innovation Review

Liz Luckett Featured in Family Wealth Report Conference and Article

December 31, 2018

TSEF Managing Partner, Liz Luckett was invited to present on a Family Wealth Report conference panel: Impact Investing, Technology, and Venture Capital: How, Where, and Why. Liz focused her comments on the opportunities to leverage data in order to provide better services to under-served, low-income markets.

Liz Luckett Interviewed by Economist TV

March 02, 2017

TSEF Managing Partner, Liz Luckett is interviewed by the Economist's Matthew Bishop

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Portfolio in the News

Lara Metcalf Named Kellogg Youn Impact Scholar

April 02, 2020

Congratulations Lara Metcalf on being named a 2020 Kellogg Youn Impact Scholar! Lara Metcalf has committed her career to driving better outcomes for low income and vulnerable populations by using innovative investment capital approaches to solve our nation's most pressing problems.

CloudFactory raises $65 million to prep and process data sets

November 20, 2019

Today, we’re excited to announce [CloudFactory] has secured $65 million in growth equity funding from FTV Capital, who led the round, with participation from Weatherford Capital. We are grateful to them and especially to our clients for their trust and partnership. We also thank all of those who have worked at CloudFactory, past and present, because their hard work has made this possible. This round of funding is our largest ever, and it marks a special milestone for CloudFactory on our mission to connect one million talented people to meaningful work. We’ll use the funding to advance our technology, invest in our workforce, and continue to provide our clients easy access to the world’s best managed teams for data work. We’ll also use it to expand our mission to create opportunities for skilled people in developing nations.

Angaza wins prestigious Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship

April 03, 2018

Angaza's B2B, Pay As You Go (PAYG)-enabling, product won the prestigious Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship for 2018. The comapany was among the half dozen selected to join the Skoll network and receive a $1.25M grant from the Skoll Foundation. 

 

 

Angaza raises $10.5M Series B

October 03, 2017

TSEF portfolio company, Angaza, has now raised a Series B round of $10.5M to scale its innovative solution to financing for solar and other devices in emerging markets. Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective led the ground and was joined by Rethink Impact, Salesforce Ventures, Social Capital, and the Stanford StartX Fund. 

Liberty and Justice Trading Targets Donation of 5,000 Free School Uniforms

August 21, 2017

Front Page Africa's coverage of TSEF portfolio company L&J.

ConnXus Teams Up with SAP/Ariba

March 20, 2017

Market leader SAP Ariba announces its partnership with TSEF portfolio company ConnXus. 

 

"In an effort to increase the amount of diverse spend among the world’s largest buyers and create significant new business opportunities for diverse suppliers, SAP Ariba and ConnXus intend to connect the ConnXus Database to offerings such as SAP Ariba Discovery.

Delivered on the Ariba® Network, the world’s largest, most global business-to-business trading platform where over 2.5 million companies transact over $1 trillion in commerce on an annual basis, SAP Ariba Discovery is the premier service for matching business buyers and sellers globally where more than $308 million in business is posted every month."

ConnXus Named Technology Sponsor for International Minority Supplier Development Conference

September 13, 2016

TSEF Portfolio company ConnXus announced that they are the official technology sponsor for the 2016 global Minority Supplier Development Council United Kingdom (MSDUK) Conference. 

Bloomberg Highlights FirstAccess

November 17, 2015

TSEF Portfolio company First Access was highlighted as a global leader in their space. The Bloomberg article on the role of alternative data noted their products' incredible speed and efficiency-driving capabilities as the market looks to unlock an estimated $2B in underserved credit opportunity worldwide. TSEF led First Access' seed investment round with Acumen in late 2014.

Clínicas del Azúcar on PBS

November 09, 2015

TSEF portfolio company Clínicas del Azúcar (CDA) was featured on The News Hour on PBS. The piece was the first of a series on "Agents of Change" and follows CDA's CEO and Founder Javier Lozano through his clinics, explaining the scale and impact of the growing diabetes epidemic in Mexico. TSEF supported CDA's early development and made an additional investment this year. 

Pigeonly on Planet Money

March 23, 2015

TSEF portfolio company Pigeonly, and founder Frederick Hutson, were featured on Planet Money's March 13th podcast. Pigeonly builds technology products for the overlooked and underserved. To date they have launched two products, Fotopigeon and Telepigeon, that address communication barriers between prison inmates and their support network of family and friends. These products utilize Pigeonly's proprietary Inmate API which scrapes publicly available data to create a centralized database of the location of Americas incarcerated.

 

With 50-70% of inmates returning to prison, most within 3 years of release, Pigeonly is a well overdue disruption of archaic and often extortionary communication services. Studies have consistently found that prisoners who maintain close contact with their family members while incarcerated have better post-release outcomes and lower recidivism rates. With over two million incarcerated individuals in the U.S., each with a network of family and friends, TSEF saw a compelling investment opportunity in Pigeonly. TSEF is the company's largest investor. 

 

Planet Money Podcast: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2015/03/13/392862778/episode-610-the-prisoners-solution

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Team

Liz Luckett | Managing Partner

Elizabeth (Liz) Luckett has an extensive background in philanthropy, technology, analysis and market research. Before joining TSEF, Liz was Director of Impact Investing at the Pershing Square Foundation. Prior she served as Senior Vice President at Citigroup and co-founded and was Executive Vice President of Fulcrum Analytics (formerly, Cyber Dialogue). Liz began her career with the Gartner Group as director of business planning, where she worked with the CEO and executive team analyzing and implementing acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic partnerships for the company.

Liz is a board observer at Aunt Bertha, CloudFactory, ConnXus and Frogtek, and Pigeonly.  She is also a founding board member of The Bail Project and a member emeritus of the Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing at Columbia University, and Root Capital.

 

Liz has a B.A. from Columbia University and a Master of Philosophy from Cambridge University in England.

Michael Presser | Senior Associate

Michael Presser has a background in technology and management consulting. Prior to TSEF, Michael was a Consultant at Altman Vilandrie & Company, a boutique consultancy serving the technology, media, and telecommunications sectors. Michael worked with corporate technology clients on projects such as go-to-market strategy, geographic expansion opportunity, and sales channel optimization, as well as working with financial investors to diligence potential acquisitions in the technology and telecom space.

Michael has a B.S. from Brown University where he studied electrical engineering.

Lara Metcalf | Venture Partner

Lara Metcalf has an extensive background in capital markets, financial management, impact investing and social enterprise. Before joining the TSEF team in 2018, Lara was a Fellow at The Engine, an early-stage venture fund founded by MIT. From 2013-18 she served as the Managing Director at Social Finance where she developed more than $70M+ million in pay-for-success investments and social impact bonds.  Lara was previously Chief Financial and Administrative Officer at Harvard University’s Kennedy School.  Lara spent the first 18 years of her career on Wall Street.  As a Managing Director at Credit Suisse, Lara structured complex credit transactions and advised institutional clients.  Prior, she was a Vice President in the Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities Division at Goldman Sachs.  

Ms. Metcalf serves on the advisory board for Longfellow Investment Management, and the MIT Solve Fund.  She received a B.S from Boston College, and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Rashid Galadanci | Venture Partner

Rashid Galadanci has a background in emerging market economic development, technology, energy and management consulting. Before joining TSEF, Rashid was an associate at Armonia LLC, an impact investing-focused family office. Prior he managed global initiatives and operational policy at FINCA International, a leading microfinance institution with 1.7 million clients in 23 countries. Rashid began his career on the Strategy and Organization team at Booz Allen Hamilton where he worked with government clients, helped launch the firm's commercial practice and developed a spin-off technology company focused on digital identity credentials. Rashid is a board member at Pigeonly.​

 

Rashid has a B.A. from Dartmouth College where he studied political economy of emerging markets and was awarded a 1 year fellowship to study economic development and renewable fuel use in Brazil. He is a Carnegie New Leader.

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