Giant Leap’s Small Steps: A record-breaking year for impact VC

- August 5, 2021 2 MIN READ
Giant Leap
The Giant Leap team: Will Richardson, Charlie Macdonald & Rachel Yang
Welcome to Giant Leap’s Small Steps, a newsletter offering global insights and news on the impact startups landscape. We’ll be sharing an edited version with Startup Daily readers every fortnight.

Giant Leap is Australia’s first impact venture fund, and they use this newsletter to surface the ideas and businesses that intrigue and inspire them and broaden their own thinking on impact business.

You can catch Giant Leap partner Rachel Yang on the Startup Daily show on ausbiz.com.au, offering insights on the impact of the startup ecosystem.

Here’s what they have to say this week:


What we’re thinking about

For the first time on record, impact VC is on track to blitz other impact investment types in attracting funding. Halfway through the year, it makes up more than 60% of the $7b in funds raised for impact. With strong focus on energy and health, impact investors are clearly seeing what we see: impact founders are our biggest lever for change because the solutions we need for our biggest problems simply don’t yet exist.

While the tech gender gap is improving in Australia, equal representation has a long road ahead. Approximately 27% of Australian VC dollars went to female founders in H1 FY21 and women in tech were 2x more likely to lose their jobs due to COVID. We agree with Liza Chong’s view, that the gap starts at the source of capital – just 14% of global funds have a female partner, and that’s gotta change.

In the meantime, we’re loving seeing the rise of new diversity and inclusion (D&I) tools to address the issue, such as Fair HQ, which offers affordable D&I recommendations and impact tracking for startups, and Circle In, which just raised $2.7m to provide support for parents in the workplace.


Connect with us

Our Associate, Charlie, is lifting the curtain on Giant Leap’s impact methodology at 1pm tomorrow for the Startup Vic Success Series. Register here.

There are now 80+ more jobs on the Giant Leap Fund jobs board and more jobs at ethical companies on the global B-Work job board.

For the road

We’re back in lockdown season. For those of you at home, here are some of our favourite distraction and coping tools from last year:

  • Jackbox has some great multiplayer games, but we got a lot of joy out of Drawful last year. We won’t punish you with some of our creations from this game…

  • The Body Coach Youtube channel has workouts for everyone and every situation. And we mean every situation. Mid-workday office-chair workouts? Covered. No equipment workouts? Yep. Low intensity? There too. Take a look.

  • Airtree also recently put out this excellent mental health resource last year aimed at founders. But the information on there is really relevant to everyone.

Spare a thought for the seaweed of the world. It’s yet another casualty of the climate crisis, but potentially also a saviour: an ocean-bed full of kelp can store more carbon than a tropical rainforest the same size.

LEGO committed a 150 person team and tested 250+ formulations to finally reach a prototype recycled brick and make good on its commitment to be more sustainable.

The Kenneth Myer Social Innovation Fellowship has opened applications impact startups offering up to $150,000 in grant funds. Skalata Ventures is also looking for its next intake of companies for their accelerator program.

Pokemon Go, but for nature. The Great Aussie BioQuest is about to kick off. It’s a state-by-state competition to compile the natural world in your area. You can download the app here.

Our favourite take on AfterPay’s acquisition: