Name: Kizmet Impact Capital
Location: Toronto and Vancouver, Canada
Web site: https://www.kizmetimpact.com
Size: Raising its first $50M fund
What it is: Kizmet wants to be one of the first publicly traded impact investment funds with holdings in startup companies. It will invest in businesses that are focused on social or environmental impact, and in turn offer shares of its fund to the public on the NEO Exchange, a Toronto-based stock exchange that launched in 2015. Kizmet will be publicly available on the exchange later this year. The goal is to make it accessible to everyday people, according to Marissa Bronfman, its chief brand officer. “If you only have a few dollars, we say that’s fine, be a part of our journey.”
Investment minimums: Kizmet is seeking limited partners to invest $100,000 and $250,000 in the fund; the minimums will increase as it approaches its $50M fund size. Once it is public, the goal is to be affordable to the “everyday investor.” So anyone, accredited or not, will be able to buy a share of the fund.
While Bronfman cannot disclose a number for regulatory reasons, she said people will likely be able to invest in the public fund with a few dollars.
Kizmet plans to raise significant capital through the IPO and private placement once it’s active, which it will use to invest in portfolio companies, marketing and add to its general working capital. Public investors will not receive a share of the returns, but will benefit from the growth of the fund reflected in the share price.
Leadership: Founder and advisor Patrick Morris is a longtime investor and former CEO and director of Eat Beyond Global Holdings Inc. – a publicly-traded investment company. Chief Executive Officer James Tansey is a longtime impact entrepreneur who founded Canvas Impact Advisors, a firm that works with investors to fund impact-driven companies. Bronfman, Kizmet’s chief brand officer, is a serial social entrepreneur who founded Shot of Gold, a line of turmeric products that supports girls in India, and We are Women, a network for women and underrepresented founders in the food and beverage industry.
Investment style/track record: The fund will invest in early-stage, purpose-driven businesses helping people and the planet. It hopes to provide access to individual (retail) investors who wouldn’t otherwise be able to participate in a fund.
Quote: “One of our goals is to help businesses that are wanting to change the world, but need access to capital and also need access to different skill sets in the impact environment,” Bronfman said. “Because it’s difficult.”
This story and others on New Builders Dispatch are made possible by a sponsorship from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that provides access to opportunities that help people achieve financial stability, upward mobility, and economic prosperity – regardless of race, gender, or geography. The Kansas City, Mo.-based foundation uses its grantmaking, research, programs, and initiatives to support the start and growth of new businesses, a more prepared workforce, and stronger communities. For more information, visit www.kauffman.org and connect with www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn.