Unreasonable Group, an investment house building a unique ecosystem for good, has revealed it has hit its ambitious 50% diversity target in just one year. In the same annual report, the company also announced that 51% of its Unreasonable Collective members are women or people of colour.
The achievement is particularly impressive because 2020 saw women lose ground in the investment space. Funding to female-led and mixed-gender founding teams dropped to just 14%.
Inclusion as a mojo
Pratibha Vuppuluri, Head of Investments, and Partner, Collective, Unreasonable Group, reminds us why it’s so important to be more inclusive in the investment ecosystem. “When it comes to capital channelled to diverse and under-represented founders, that is where the biggest gap lies. Most of the money in Silicon Valley goes to white male founders. We’re here to disrupt that!”
What did they do? Last year Unreasonable committed to giving underrepresented groups in investment a seat at the table, including women, people of colour and those who identify as LGBTQ+.
Impact the world
Inclusivity is at the heart of all their decisions. “That means when we are looking for potential members or companies to invest in, and that is why we ended up with these great statistics,” ensures Vuppuluri. The impact of having diverse investors, whether in terms of gender, ethnicity or geography, has already been felt, with valuable new perspectives being brought to The Collective.
She also explains that the focus on diversity is ongoing. “It’s something I haven’t seen much of in the venture world, but the Unreasonable community-driven model opens up new opportunities for women, people of colour and LGBTQ+ investors,” observes Vuppuluri.
“We offer pre-vetted deals at the Series A stage, and if someone wants to invest, they can go and visit the business and ask the CEO questions. It’s important because people are looking to put their money in companies that positively impact the world,” says Vuppuluri.
And the shift doesn’t stop there. Diversity filters through to investment decisions, too. Unreasonable Collective’s investments have a positive impact, from the innovative and sustainable design and manufacturing company Plant Prefab to Goodr to the diverse, female-owned company leveraging blockchain technology to reduce food waste and combat hunger.
One of the Unreasonable Collective’s first investments was Air Protein, the pioneering product that aims to feed the world’s growing population sustainably, founded by Dr Lisa Dyson. And climate technology startup BlocPower, founded by Donnel Baird, is helping disadvantaged communities in New York save on their energy costs.