In the universe of eco-friendly business acronyms, the one most people are familiar with is ESG – short for Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance – which aims to measure the sustainability and societal impact of an investment in a company or business. Vanterra Capital is taking that a step further by focusing on ESY: better for the Environment, better for Society, and better for You.
Vanterra is a New York-based private equity investment and advisory firm that manages assets for a diverse investor base of ultra-high net worth partners and leading institutions. The company manages capital across various private equity, venture capital, and associated investment vehicles. It offers direct investments through its own core funds and separately managed accounts, as well as a fund seeding program that provides anchor capital, investment, and diligence guidance, and institutional resources to help partners become leading investment franchises.
The company’s consumer venture fund, called the Vanterra Accelerator Fund (VAF), looks for disruptive consumer and technology-focused companies, with a particular focus on the ESY Category. The fund eyes companies that offer products and services that improve the lives of consumers by making them healthier – and does so in a sustainable way that also gives back to communities.
In an interview with Authority Magazine last fall, Vanterra Capital Founder and Managing Partner Shad Azimi said his company’s principles “are centered around investing in mission-driven companies focused on social good. Finding talented visionaries is only the beginning.”
The company’s primary mission, Azimi said, is “to build an ecosystem around these entrepreneurs that allows them to take actionable steps in order to transform great ideas into businesses that make meaningful impacts on this planet.”
That focus is driven in part by Vanterra’s desire to meet the needs of younger investors.
“Research shows that sustainability is a critical factor in purchasing decisions for more than 55 percent of Gen-Z and Millennials compared to only 30 percent for Baby Boomers,” Azimi told Forbes in December. “As these younger generations mature into the most important consumer demographic, brands will need to cater to their value systems around sustainability, or risk losing market share.”
Vanterra puts that philosophy into practice with the companies it supports financially. Among the businesses and startups, its Vanterra Accelerator Fund invests in are the following:
- NAADAM: A manufacturer of sustainable and ethical knitwear that works to protect the planet through anti-desertification programs, local nonprofit work, and supplier partnerships committed to ethical and environmental standards.
- Cleancult: A maker of non-toxic, zero-waste home cleaning products through its coconut-powered CocoClean Technology.
- BIOHM: Microbiome company that uses microbiome data to empower individuals to live healthier lives.
- Bombas: Socks and apparel manufacturer that donates one item to community organizations for every item sold.
- Moku: Maker of sustainable, plant-based jerky products whose mission is to promote a healthy lifestyle for everyone.
- HumanCo: Mission-driven holding company that focuses on sustainable, long-term business investments.
- Paravel: Manufacturer of eco-friendly luggage, bags, and organizers that has upcycled 1.7 million plastic water bottles and offset 4.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide through its carbon-neutral shipping program.