Diversity Venture

Plum Alley Measures Its Portfolio Impact As It Raises A New Fund

Plum Alley, a New York-based private investment platform, has invested $32 million in 23 companies via its syndicate of executives and family offices. The firm invests in companies with female founders in STEM that have a positive impact on the environment, health, education, or employment, and just released its findings from its Intentional Investing Report.

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We spoke with founder and general partner Andrea Turner Moffitt, who co-founded Plum Alley with Deborah Jackson.

When reporting on female startup founders, the media tends to focus on consumer-oriented companies, Turner Moffitt said. “We want to push a bigger conversation around the scientists and the technologists who happen to be women, who are bringing forward these amazing emerging technologies and medical breakthroughs that are having an important, positive impact in the world,” she said.

The new fund will target funding at Series A, the stage with the biggest funding gap in venture, given the proliferation of funds at the seed stage. The firm has a first close with Consumer Technology Association as an anchor investor in the new fund.

Plum Alley currently operates like a venture firm in that it has partners sourcing deals for their syndicate to invest in. Its investor base is 75 percent women and, of its current portfolio, 70 percent of the companies are in technology and 30 percent are in health care.

The firm will continue to offer the co-investing model to its syndicate partners allowing for more dollars to be invested in companies it targets.

Measuring impact

Plum Alley terms its approach “intentional investing,” meaning it looks for the “essential technologies and medical breakthroughs that are driving value in the world for humanity and the planet,” said Turner Moffitt.

The firm has developed its own framework for assessing a company’s impact by looking at the size of the problem, the services addressable market, its near-term goals, and current outcomes. To date, its 23 portfolio companies have been assessed across three areas: the environment, inclusive growth/upward mobility, and health.

For the environment, notable investments include local air-quality data service Aclima, water quality monitoring company KETOS, resilience service for disaster preparedness and response One Concern, textile innovations and recycling company Evrnu, and electric and automated vehicle freight trucking technology company Einride.

In upward mobility, the firm invested in Bitwise Industries provides technology training for marginalized communities,  ThinkCERCA, a literacy platform, and Shine, a mental wellness service with a focus on underrepresented groups.

Companies in Plum Alley’s health portfolio include: Mammoth Biosciences, a CRISPR technology innovator; Cordex, a cardiovascular diagnostic device company; Vyv, an antimicrobial light for germ control; bone reconstruction company EpiBone; and BioEclipse Therapeutics, a cancer treatment company.

Shown below are  some of Plum Alley’s portfolio companies highlighting areas of impact.

Feature photo of Plum Alley co-founder and General Partner Andrea Turner Moffitt and co-founder Deborah Jackson provided courtesy of Plum Alley.

Blogroll illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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