Venture Capital Firm Invests in Start-Ups With a Social Mission

The New York Times
October 27, 2014

By Sarah Max:  When the co-founders of SolarCi­ty, Lyn­don and Peter Rive, along with their cousin Elon Musk, were rais­ing mon­ey for their solar ener­gy start-up in 2007, they called on just one out­side investor. It wasn’t Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Cap­i­tal or any of the oth­er promi­nent Sil­i­con Val­ley ven­ture cap­i­tal firms, but a $75 mil­lion fund man­aged under the umbrel­la of JPMor­gan Chase.

The fund’s man­ag­ing direc­tor, Nan­cy Pfund, isn’t a house­hold name. Yet over the last decade, she has qui­et­ly built a rep­u­ta­tion as the go-to ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist for com­pa­nies look­ing to make a social impact.

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