Scaling social innovation: $100-million TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good celebrates one year of supporting new, responsible businessesFund Updates · Nov 23, 2021
Inaugural Social Impact Report highlights results generated from Pollinator Fund’s 10 investments in first year of operation, with the latest investments in Goodmylk, Nectar, and Gotcare.
VANCOUVER - Today, the TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good celebrates its one-year anniversary by announcing three new investments in purpose-driven companies across North America: Goodmylk, Nectar and Gotcare. Within just 12 months, the $100-million fund has amplified TELUS’ commitment to social capitalism and invested in 10 exciting companies that are making a difference in communities.
As part of the anniversary celebration, the Pollinator Fund is also launching its inaugural impact report highlighting achievements and funding commitments over the last year.
“Our TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good builds on TELUS’ legacy of leveraging our globally leading technology, coupled with our human ingenuity, to invest in new start-up businesses that are both enabling better social outcomes in the communities where we live, work and serve, as well as achieving strong economic returns,” said Darren Entwistle, President and CEO, TELUS. “Over the past year, our Pollinator Fund has invested nearly $20 million in 10 companies led by some of North America’s most inspiring and visionary entrepreneurs focused on innovation that promotes better mental and physical health, greater social equity, a safer food supply and a greener planet. Indeed, as we celebrate our first year, we are proud of the impact the Fund is having on pollinating business innovation, creating a catalytic effect on social capitalism and inspiring the next generation of responsible businesses.”
The three new investments launched today include the following:
Goodmylk, based in California, is an alternative milk company that uses natural, high quality ingredients to create plant-based milk powders and concentrates designed to help sustain a healthy body and lifestyle.
Nectar, based in Montreal, is working to digitize the beekeeping industry with a solution that improves pollinator health and supports responsible agriculture while positively impacting the environment.
Gotcare, based in Toronto, has developed a software solution to efficiently match homecare workers with patients in need, while simultaneously creating higher paying jobs for personal support workers.
“As we celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Pollinator Fund, I want to thank the founders, our partners, and the wider investment community for their collaboration and belief in our thoughtful approach to investing in innovation at an early stage,” said Jill Schnarr, Chief Social Innovation Officer, TELUS. “In 12 short months, we’ve made excellent progress, grown our team, and look forward to scaling our impact in the years to come as we seek new opportunities to partner with diverse founders of companies driven by both profit and purpose.”
The TELUS Pollinator Fund has already invested in new start-up businesses including EliteGamingLIVE (EGL), Fresh City Farms, Pocket Naloxone, Raven Indigenous Capital Partners, Windmill Microlending, Tidal Vision, and Rhiza Capital.
With driving impact at its core, the Pollinator Fund invests in companies with the greatest potential to scale and generate financial returns, while also providing the support needed for mission-driven teams to create meaningful benefits for those they serve. The Pollinator Fund invests in early stage companies and provides strategic value such as connections and networking that leverage the strength of TELUS in its entirety – much more than just writing a cheque. The Pollinator Fund also supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals by investing in companies and founders that are advancing products and solutions to transform healthcare, caring for our planet, supporting responsible agriculture, and enabling inclusive communities.
Highlights over the last year include:
Nearly $20 million invested in new, responsible, and sustainable businesses
60 per cent of investee businesses are based in Canada
Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion:
50 per cent of portfolio companies are led by Indigenous and racialized people
40 per cent of portfolio companies are led by women
The Pollinator Fund has already been recognized for excellence in social responsibility - not only through the investments across North America, but also by being awarded with the Clean50 Awards Top Project award and being named a finalist for the Reuters Business Awards for Social Impact. With a large base of portfolio companies already, and more to come, the future of social innovation through the Pollinator Fund for Good is promising.
To learn more about the highlights of the fund and commitments made to date, read the TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good Impact report.
About the TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good
The $100 million TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good is one of the world’s largest corporate impact funds, and will focus its investment on for-profit companies and founders committed to driving social innovation. The TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good is an extension of TELUS’ long-standing commitment to leveraging the power of technology to drive positive social and environmental outcomes for all Canadians by funding the development of solutions for transforming healthcare, caring for our planet, supporting responsible agriculture and enabling inclusive communities. To learn more about the TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good, please visit: telus.com/pollinatorfund
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