Our Plan to Invest in 10 Impact Startups in 2022

Startups bring life-improving innovations to market faster than any other entity. Those innovations get distributed to billions of people when corporations, nonprofits and governments absorb the best impact startups have to offer. For Temerity Capital Partners investing in impact startups at their earliest stage maximizes the power of our capital to bring about the most good for the most people.

In 2022, it is our goal to significantly accelerate our impact deal volume. Since 2015, Temerity has invested in 15 social impact startups. In September 2021, we allocated personnel and funds to focus solely on impact venture for the first time. Since then, we’ve closed three impact startup deals and are rounding out our fourth, marking a major increase in our impact venture deals. This year, we set out to invest in 10 pre-seed or seed deals that meet our social impact threshold.

We set out to invest in 10 pre-seed or seed deals that meet our social impact threshold. 

Three strategies guide our 2022 impact venture goals: 

Goal 1: Financial Inclusion Fintech 

Fintech is in our DNA giving us a keen ability to evaluate impact startups with a fintech product. Before becoming investors, we founded three fintech startups. Before that, we founded and sold a global financial services consulting firm. Due to that advantage, our venture impact investments have focused on fintech solutions. 

Our plan for 2022 is to continue to focus on fintech investments that improve access or lower the cost of financial services to underserved and marginalized communities. By investing in companies like Self Financial, Eusu, and Resolve, we have already impacted millions of customers worldwide by making it easier for them to build and improve credit scores and borrow money at competitive rates.

Goal 2: Impact-as-a-Service

People have been demanding companies take social action for years. Companies typically made empty promises to appease the crowd. However, we are finally seeing a critical mass of companies putting real investment into turning their corporate social responsibility promises into action. Startups building impact SaaS or impact-as-a-service are poised to capitalize on this wave. 

Our first investment in impact-as-a-service was in Motivote, a provider of voter turnout SaaS to colleges and companies. Our second was in the Sunny Day Fund, which enables employer-matching emergency savings accounts for workers. Now startups with impact SaaS products are beginning to seek us out, giving us a real insight into the customer behavior of the overall market. We intend to leverage our new expertise in funding great impact-as-a-service startups in 2022. 

Goal 3: Overlooked Founders

Diversity of thought, experience, and background leads to better solutions. Funding founders traditionally excluded from the venture ecosystem remains a priority for us. Temerity will be inclusive in more ways than one as we expand our impact portfolio. 

Temerity will be inclusive in more ways than one as we expand our impact portfolio. 

Overlooked founders come in many shapes and sizes. We know women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ founders are vastly underfunded. However, geography and where a founder went to school also play a major role in who gets venture funding. Founders based outside of San Francisco, NYC, and Boston and without degrees from elite universities, are significantly underfunded compared to their counterparts. 

This coming year, we will look at all of these factors and seek to invest in more diverse founders beyond traditional startup hubs and elite institutions.

Impact Venture Ecosystem

The direction of venture capital is moving towards solving real problems and creating positive social impact. Tech solutions for the climate crisis and social inequality have seen a 280% increase in global VC investment from 2015 to 2020. Impact unicorns, startups that can improve the lives of 1 billion people and are worth over $1 billion like Self Financial and Esusu, are becoming more common. 

Temerity is doubling down on impact startups delivering solutions to some of the biggest challenges. We are looking for founders with scalable financial inclusion and impact-as-a-service products that strengthen vulnerable communities. 

Our investment horizon remains broad to ensure we invest in early-stage impact founders to help them scale and navigate through the challenging waters of impact-focused growth trajectory. We look forward to being their partner as these startups disrupt and reshape the global economy and improve the quality of life for millions. 


About the Author

Jake Sandler is a principal of Temerity Capital Partners, 2X founder, impact investor, and operations executive.