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Better Ventures

Provides funding and support to companies creating scalable solutions to some of the world's biggest challenges

Categories

Financial and Banking  
Summary

Better Ventures is a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage companies that are using technology to solve social and environmental challenges. The firm was founded in 2011 and has offices in Oakland and San Francisco. Better Ventures focuses on investing in companies that have the potential to create a positive impact in areas such as education, healthcare, clean energy, and sustainable food.

The firm has a set of values that guide its investments, including impact, innovation, collaboration, diversity, and sustainability. Better Ventures' mission is to support early-stage startups that are developing solutions to pressing social and environmental challenges and help them to scale their businesses and achieve significant impact.

Some notable companies in Better Ventures' portfolio include BrightBytes, a data analytics platform for personalized learning, Farmer's Fridge, a food tech company that offers healthy meals and snacks through vending machines, and Landed, a real estate startup that provides down payment assistance to teachers and educators.


History

Better Ventures is a venture capital firm that invests in mission-driven startups aiming to solve the world's most pressing social and environmental challenges. The firm was founded in 2014 by Rick Moss and Wes Selke, both of whom have extensive experience in technology and impact investing.

Rick Moss is a serial entrepreneur and has been a pioneer in the field of impact investing for more than 20 years. He was the founder and CEO of several successful technology companies, including Polymer City Media, which was sold to Yahoo! in 2005. He also co-founded the Impact HUB network, a global community of social entrepreneurs and changemakers. Rick is a frequent speaker on impact investing and entrepreneurship, and he has been recognized as one of the top 100 social entrepreneurs by the Schwab Foundation.

Wes Selke is also a seasoned entrepreneur and investor, with more than a decade of experience in venture capital and private equity. Prior to founding Better Ventures, he was a Partner at Hub Ventures, an accelerator program for impact startups, and he also served as a Vice President at JP Morgan. Wes has been a board member and advisor to numerous impact-focused organizations and has been recognized as a leader in the impact investing field by publications such as Forbes and Fast Company.

Together, Rick and Wes have built Better Ventures into a leading impact-focused venture capital firm. The firm's portfolio includes companies that are working to address a wide range of social and environmental challenges, such as healthcare access, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and education. Better Ventures provides not only capital but also hands-on support to its portfolio companies, helping them to scale and achieve their impact goals.

In addition to its investment activities, Better Ventures is also committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the tech and startup ecosystems. The firm has been a vocal advocate for underrepresented founders and has taken steps to increase diversity within its own team and portfolio.


Investment criteria

Better Ventures is a mission-driven venture capital firm that invests in startups that are working to create positive social and environmental impact. The firm's investment criteria reflect this focus and are designed to identify and support companies that have the potential to generate both financial returns and meaningful social or environmental outcomes.

The following are some of the key criteria that Better Ventures considers when evaluating potential investments:

  • Mission-driven: Better Ventures looks for companies that have a clear and compelling mission to create positive social or environmental impact. This could be anything from improving access to healthcare to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to promoting educational equity.
  • Scalability: The firm seeks companies that have the potential to achieve significant scale and impact, either through rapid growth or by creating new markets.
  • Innovative technology or business model: Better Ventures looks for companies that are using innovative technology or business models to address social or environmental challenges. This could include new approaches to renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, or healthcare delivery.
  • Strong leadership: The firm seeks companies with strong, experienced leadership teams that have a deep understanding of the social or environmental challenges they are addressing, as well as the business skills needed to build a successful company.
  • Financial sustainability: Better Ventures looks for companies that have a clear path to financial sustainability and profitability, as well as the potential to generate attractive financial returns for investors.
  • Positive impact metrics: The firm seeks companies that are measuring and tracking their impact, and have clear metrics to demonstrate their progress towards their social or environmental goals.

Values
  • Mission-driven: Better Ventures looks for companies that have a clear and compelling mission to create positive social or environmental impact. This could be anything from improving access to healthcare to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to promoting educational equity.
  • Scalability: The firm seeks companies that have the potential to achieve significant scale and impact, either through rapid growth or by creating new markets.
  • Innovative technology or business model: Better Ventures looks for companies that are using innovative technology or business models to address social or environmental challenges. This could include new approaches to renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, or healthcare delivery.
  • Strong leadership: The firm seeks companies with strong, experienced leadership teams that have a deep understanding of the social or environmental challenges they are addressing, as well as the business skills needed to build a successful company.
  • Financial sustainability: Better Ventures looks for companies that have a clear path to financial sustainability and profitability, as well as the potential to generate attractive financial returns for investors.
  • Positive impact metrics: The firm seeks companies that are measuring and tracking their impact, and have clear metrics to demonstrate their progress towards their social or environmental goals.

Mission

"Our mission is to support and scale companies that are using entrepreneurship and innovation to create positive social and environmental impact. We believe that business can be a powerful tool for driving positive change, and we are committed to investing in and supporting companies that have the potential to generate meaningful impact.

We focus on mission-driven companies that are using innovative technology or business models to address social and environmental challenges. We believe in the power of collaboration, and work closely with our portfolio companies, as well as with other investors, entrepreneurs, and impact-focused organizations, to maximize impact and create sustainable solutions.

At Better Ventures, we are committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the tech and startup ecosystems. We believe that a diverse and inclusive workforce is essential to creating innovative solutions to the world's most pressing problems, and we are committed to increasing diversity within our own team and portfolio.

We are transparent and accountable in all of our actions, and we measure and report on our own impact, as well as supporting our portfolio companies in doing the same. Our ultimate goal is to create a better world for all, and we believe that entrepreneurship and innovation are essential to achieving this goal."


Portfolio

Better Ventures invests in early-stage companies creating technology solutions for social and environmental challenges. The firm has a diverse portfolio of companies spanning a range of industries, including education, healthcare, clean energy, and sustainable food.

Some notable companies in Better Ventures' portfolio include:

  • BrightBytes: BrightBytes is a data analytics platform that helps schools and educators improve student learning outcomes. The platform uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide insights and recommendations for personalized learning.
  • Farmer's Fridge: Farmer's Fridge is a food tech company that offers healthy meals and snacks through automated vending machines. The company sources its ingredients from local and sustainable suppliers and uses compostable packaging to minimize waste.
  • Landed: Landed is a real estate startup that helps teachers and other educators afford homes in expensive housing markets. The company provides down payment assistance in exchange for a share of the home's appreciation when it is sold.
  • Powerhive: Powerhive is a clean energy company that provides access to electricity in rural areas of Africa. The company builds and operates solar microgrids that enable communities to access reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy.
  • Proterra: Proterra is an electric vehicle company that designs and manufactures zero-emission buses and charging systems. The company's buses have a range of up to 350 miles on a single charge and have been deployed in cities across the United States.

References
Better Ventures
Leadership team

Rick Moss (Founder)

Wes Selke (Founder)

Lyndsey Boucherle (Partner)

Investment type
Venture capital
Type
Early Stage Venture, Seed,Venture Capital
Industries

Financial and Banking

Number of Employees
0 - 50
Headquarters
San Francisco Bay Area, West Coast, Western US
Established
2010
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