Better Ventures

Better Ventures is a venture capital firm that provides funding and support to companies creating scalable solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges.

We back entrepreneurs building a better world.

Better Ventures provides funding and support to technology companies pursuing social and environmental outcomes with business models that scale.  We back passionate entrepreneurs leveraging the tools and methodologies of the modern technology startup to address some of society's biggest challenges, from narrowing the opportunity gap to improving health outcomes to accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy.  Given the magnitude of these problems and the enormous market opportunities they represent, we seek to back founders with the intellectual capacity and drive to build truly world-changing companies.  If you're up for that challenge, we want to hear from you.  


What We Invest In

We back smart and scrappy teams of two or more co-founders building highly scalable and capital efficient technology companies that address big global challenges.  We look for significant and measurable social or environmental impact potential that is created directly through the use of a company's products or services or through the supply chains that produce and deliver them.  We are currently pursuing opportunities in three investment themes:

Opportunity Low-cost web & mobile technologies provide people with access to life-improving opportunities

Opportunity
Low-cost web & mobile technologies provide people with access to life-improving opportunities

Health Always-on connectivity and cloud analytics enable improved diagnosis and better preventative health

Health
Always-on connectivity and cloud analytics enable improved diagnosis and better preventative health

Sustainability Technology-driven innovations are accelerating the transition to a more sustainable economy

Sustainability
Technology-driven innovations are accelerating the transition to a more sustainable economy


What We Look for

We look for the following characteristics in the startups we back:

  • Two co-founders, one  technical. Ideally CEO and CTO.
  • Information technology product with a significant intrinsic social or environmental impact
  • Minimum viable product or fully-deployed product
  • Encouraging initial indications that customers love your product (see How We Invest below)

While we will review funding applications from anywhere, we have a strong preference for companies based in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a special emphasis on Oakland and Berkeley because of the high level of our engagement and due to our commitment to the East Bay startup ecosystem.  If you're looking for office space or considering a relocation, we can help you secure space at ImpactHub Oakland


How We Invest

Better Ventures is a high-engagement seed fund that provides capital, expertise, and an extensive business network to help startups get to the next level.  We look to invest up to $1M in each of our portfolio companies over multiple financing rounds, with initial investments ranging from $100k to $400k (typically for a 7-10% stake) and the remainder reserved for follow-on investments in later rounds. This is how we invest:

  • Pre-Seed: we invest $100k to $200k in pre-seed stage companies with two co-founders (one technical) and a minimum viable product that is pre-market validation but has early signs of encouraging customer engagement. We want to be the first significant investor in your startup, and we will work intensively with you to help you make significant progress towards product-market fit, at which point we will look to lead your seed round. We make pre-seed investment decisions on a rolling quarterly basis through our PreSeed program. 
  • Seed: we invest $250k to $400k in seed-stage companies with strong indications of product-market fit (like high usage per user and/or customer willingness to pay) and encouraging customer growth metrics (like double-digit monthly user and/or revenue growth). We make seed investments in new companies as well as existing pre-seed portfolio companies that are ready to go to the next level.
  • Series A and Beyond: we invest up to $1M total in our portfolio companies including prior investments and follow-on at Series A and later rounds. We rarely make a direct Series A investment into a company that we did not back at the seed stage.

Apply for funding here


Additional Resources We Provide

Beyond investment capital, we provide support and resources to help startups get to the next level. We are often a company's first significant outside investor, and we devote considerable time and effort to help you succeed. We provide our portfolio companies with the key services they need to get to a successful Series A financing round, including:

Customer Discovery. We help startups identify and listen to customers and iterate their way to product success.

Customer Discovery. We help startups identify and listen to customers and iterate their way to product success.

Mentorship. We connect startups with our mentor network of successful entrepreneurs and industry experts who help them navigate big challenges and provide key connections.  

Mentorship. We connect startups with our mentor network of successful entrepreneurs and industry experts who help them navigate big challenges and provide key connections.
 

Startup development.  We help companies navigate the startup phase by helping with team building, business model development, PR, customer acquisition, design, legal and more.

Startup development.  We help companies navigate the startup phase by helping with team building, business model development, PR, customer acquisition, design, legal and more.

Fundraising. We help companies with professionally designed fundraising materials, pitch practice, and introductions to our network of mission-aligned investors.

Fundraising. We help companies with professionally designed fundraising materials, pitch practice, and introductions to our network of mission-aligned investors.

Peer collaboration. Our companies join a growing network of like-minded entrepreneurs who provide one another with invaluable support, advice, and connections.

Peer collaboration. Our companies join a growing network of like-minded entrepreneurs who provide one another with invaluable support, advice, and connections.

Co-working space.  We offer discounted short-term memberships at ImpactHUB Bay Area, a purpose-driven co-working space connected to 50+ other locations globally. 

Co-working space.  We offer discounted short-term memberships at ImpactHUB Bay Area, a purpose-driven co-working space connected to 50+ other locations globally. 


Apply for Funding

If you're a smart and scrappy entrepreneurial team passionate about leveraging technology to build a better world, we want to hear from you!  Please visit our application page to apply for funding.  We review applications for funding on a rolling basis, and we typically make our pre-seed investment selections on a quarterly basis. 

© 2016 Better Ventures, LLC