ICA’s Growth Fund invests in local business with high-growth potential. Since launching the Growth Fund in 2015 ICA has made catalytic investments in companies that are positioned for high growth and financial sustainability, and share our commitment to closing the racial and gender wealth gaps.
Though they may have been overlooked by mainstream investors, ICA’s portfolio companies consistently prove that profitability and social impact go hand in hand. And the Growth Fund portfolio is growing – from a Latina-led “snackeria” making sustainable treats out of insects, to a high-tech athletic brand for women, to an alternative protein maker helping everyone veganize their menus, our latest investment companies are diverse.
Expanding our portfolio
Since January ICA has made 6 new investments—more than doubling the size of the Growth Fund portfolio and the total capital we’ve deployed. The businesses span the gamut—they have different business models, represent different industries, and market to different customer bases—yet they all have one thing in common (besides being great high-growth investments, that is): they are all committed to ICA’s mission of closing the racial and gender wealth gaps.
Since the launch of the Growth Fund in 2015, ICA has identified high-growth investments that grow good jobs and increase wealth for women and people of color. Courtsmith, Don Bugito, Goal Five, Progeny Coffee, Renewal Mill, and Something Better Foods are fantastic additions to the ICA portfolio for growth and mission-delivery potential.
The six businesses pay competitive wages, prioritize worker well-being, and hire inclusively, all while making an effort to create the best jobs possible. What’s more, they have all committed to meeting impact-based milestones around hiring, benefits distribution, and wages. Together they grew their average revenues from by close to 2x from 2019 to 2020 (growing them by 93%), and their 42 jobs pay an average hourly wage of $25.36.
A catalyst for growth
ICA’s investments are catalytic in nature, bringing additional capital to the funding round; often the company’s first major fundraising event. In fact, since 2015 ICA’s o has raised an additional $40M in investment capital, on top of capital deployed by ICA. And our 2021 are no different—the six businesses have closed on more than $4M in addition to what ICA’s capital.
These six companies join the five companies already in the investment portfolio, Back to the Roots, Evolve Oakland, Red Bay Coffee, Onigilly, and Firebrand Artisan Breads.
Meet the newest Growth Fund entrepreneurs
Courtsmith: designer and producer of fashion-forward athletic gear.
Founder: Courtney “Court” Smith. Investment: $300,000
Progeny Coffee: a high-end coffee company that helps lift Colombian farmers out of poverty.
Founders: Maria Palacio, John Trabelsi. Investment: $250,000
Goal Five: maker of high-tech sports apparel for women athletes.
Founders: Ann Kletz, Carrie Kessler, and Keely Wachs. Investment: $500,000
Don Bugito: producer of delicious, edible insect snacks inspired by Pre-Columbian cuisine.
Founder: Monica Martinez. Investment: $200,000
Renewal Mill: a revolutionary food upcycling leader that makes nutrient-rich flours and pantry staples from food production byproducts.
Founders: Claire Schlemme, Caroline Cotto. Investment: $250,000
Something Better Foods: maker of a delicious, plant-based, meatless proteins.
Founder: Chef GW Chew. Investment: $500,000
Serving more entrepreneurs
Concurrently, the Growth Fund has recently launched a new product that serves the other side of the spectrum of ICA companies: seed capital for earlier-stage businesses, like the ones receiving hands-on support in The Lab at ICA, our newest accelerator program.
ICA’s Growth Fund is expanding its capacity to reach diverse companies at earlier stages in their growth trajectories, while continuing to deploy growth capital to the later-stage businesses that power its growth capital portfolio.