Business Startups Venture

Rethink Impact Closes Second Fund With $182M

Illustration of woman at work.

Venture firm Rethink Impact said Thursday it closed on its $182 million Fund II, which brings its total assets under management to $300 million.

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The 4-year-old firm, based in Washington, D.C., New York and San Francisco, was founded by Jenny Abramson and is dedicated to investing in female tech entrepreneurs who are tackling global challenges. Since then, it has backed more than 25 companies, the firm said in a written statement.

Abramson quoted PitchBook data, which shows a 40 percent year-over-year decrease in the percentage of female-led, VC-funded deals in the first quarter of 2020, calling it “an unfortunate side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“While admittedly, it’s hard to break into networks that make up the venture landscape during this quarantine environment, the result is that female founders are being left out at a time when their ideas are needed most,” she said in a written statement. “We believe there is tremendous opportunity to use private sector tools to drive positive, inclusive change and now is the time to address these market blind spots and double down, not lean out.”

The firm typically invests in Series A and B rounds. Most recently, Rethink participated in a startup fund raise we reported on Thursday for Icon Savings Plan, which raised a $3.2 million seed round to develop a portable retirement account. In June, we also reported on its participation in a $9.5 million Series A for CareAcademy, which provides ongoing online training programs for senior care professionals.

Rethink raised its first fund, a $110 million Social Impact Fund, in March 2017. FinSMEs reported at the time that more than half of the investment stemmed from UBS clients.

Backers for the new fund are 65 percent female and are based in nearly 40 states, the firm said. In addition to UBS and other financial institutions, the investor base includes Pivotal Ventures, the Ford Foundation, The W.K. Kellogg Foundation and university endowments.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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