New alliance will invest in education and workforce development companies
Lumina Foundation, Robin Hood, and Salesforce Ventures launch strategic alliance
NEW YORK – Lumina Foundation, Robin Hood and the Salesforce Impact Fund from Salesforce Ventures, Salesforce’s corporate investment group, today announced the launch of an impact investing alliance dedicated to investing in for-profit education and workforce development companies whose products, services and technologies not only produce a positive financial return, but also have the potential to alleviate or eliminate poverty.
The members of this alliance will share information, knowledge and deal flow around relevant investment opportunities. The alliance commits to an initial $15 million in co-investments to companies who are building products and solutions to benefit society across two key focus areas:
- Education: Companies enabling students to successfully complete schooling and graduate with high school diplomas; promoting STEM education access; increasing access to and success in universities and/or high quality postsecondary credentialing programs.
- Workforce Development: Companies focusing on job training and reskilling programs; promoting equitable compensation and benefits; and creating diversity, equality and inclusion in the recruiting process.
This is a first foray into impact investing for Robin Hood. Partnering with proven leaders in this area from both the corporate and nonprofit sectors will enable a fast start to providing impact in the for-profit social change space.
Impact investing has become a proven tool to move the needle forward for business leaders in every business sector and region, in addition to traditional philanthropic strategies. This alliance builds on the already successful co-investing relationship between Lumina Foundation and Salesforce Ventures. Both companies share a focus on investing in high-growth technology companies advancing solutions in education and workforce development.
As the largest poverty-fighting organization in New York City, Robin Hood is in a unique position to provide insight and knowledge for similar investments in companies building products and solutions in the education and workforce development space.
Comments on the news:
“The fight against poverty needs every weapon in our arsenal, and Robin Hood is excited to bring 30 years of learnings backed by our rigorous metrics to this new alliance around impact investing,” said Robin Hood CEO Wes Moore. “We don’t have all the answers in the poverty fight, and we’re fortunate and excited to partner with the Salesforce Impact Fund and Lumina Foundation to share lessons, best practices, and support innovative platforms in education and workplace development that help families lift themselves from poverty.”
“Lumina is pleased to join with Robin Hood, which is fighting poverty in New York City, and Salesforce Ventures in an impact investing alliance that will help increase the number of students of color who are educated beyond high school," said Jamie Merisotis, the foundation's president and CEO. "We participate in financing deals with other mission-driven organizations to focus money and expertise on entrepreneurs who are helping to create the new learning system the United States needs.”
“At Salesforce, we’ve been committed to doing good as part of our business model since our founding,” said Suzanne DiBianca, EVP corporate relations and chief philanthropy officer, Salesforce. “This alliance allows us to work with like-minded organizations to invest in a new generation of entrepreneurs that are focused on driving positive social change and eliminating poverty around the world.”
The launch of the alliance kicks off Robin Hood Investors Conference, taking place over the course of two days at Spring Studios in Tribeca, New York. The conference gathers the brightest and most influential policy experts, hedge fund managers, financial leaders, tech innovators and real estate investors to share market insights and give actionable, money-making investment ideas. All proceeds of the tickets sales go to fight poverty in New York City.
About Lumina Foundation
Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. The foundation envisions a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials. Lumina’s goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy.
About Robin Hood
Founded in 1988, Robin Hood finds, fuels, and creates the most impactful and scalable solutions lifting families out of poverty in New York City, with models that can work across the country. Robin Hood invests roughly $120 million annually to provide legal services, housing, meals, workforce development training, education programs, and more to families in poverty in New York City. Robin Hood tracks every program with rigorous metrics. www.robinhood.org
About Salesforce Ventures
Salesforce, the global leader in CRM, empowers companies to connect with their customers in a whole new way. Salesforce Ventures — the company’s corporate investment group — invests in the next generation of enterprise technology that extends the power of the Salesforce Customer Success Platform. Portfolio companies receive funding, access to the world’s largest cloud ecosystem and guidance from Salesforce’s innovators and executives. With Salesforce Ventures, portfolio companies can also leverage Salesforce's expertise in corporate philanthropy by joining Pledge 1% to make giving back part of their business model. Salesforce Ventures has invested in more than 275 enterprise cloud startups in 17 countries since 2009. For more information, please visit www.salesforce.com/ventures.