The venture capital model of unbridled capital-fuelled growth has faced some backlash recently (paywall). The conventional model of venture capital gained a reputation for a focus on short-term gains for the few. Harvard Business Review described it this way: “ One myth is that venture capitalists invest in good people and good ideas. The reality is that they invest in good industries.” They noted that VCs only invest in areas with high business growth rates, thereby minimizing the risks of the management team and disregarding other areas of potential and positive impact
At Pique Ventures, we challenge that perspective. We believe that business serves more purpose beyond simply business growth and profits in the hands of the few. We encourage investors to think about why they invest in the first place and how their investing activities and investment choices express their values.
Positive impact is the “why” and some investors and business leaders have lost sight of this when profits become their “why”. Profits are merely a proxy for net energy and resources flowing in and out of a business. Businesses have positive impact when they improve access to essential resources for more than one group. That is, businesses can provide an essential resource not only for their customers through the value proposition, but also for its supplier through a more ethical supply chain and for its employees through more inclusive hiring practices. It’s through this lens that businesses can improve access to essential resources rather than extract resources from people and the planet. One of the things we’ve been thinking about and articulating lately at Pique Ventures is how focused we are on optimizing how resources are allocated and how people access essential resources.
The Globe and Mail published an article in the beginning of this year outlining the three trends affecting Canadian investors in 2019; one being impact investing which is on a spectrum of investing that also includes Socially Responsible Investing (“SRI”) or investing with Environmental Social and Governance (“ESG”) factors in mind. The articles comments, “[Millennials] wanting to own companies they feel are aligned with their social values, and with more evidence showing that businesses that adopt ESG principles can produce strong returns, impact investing is going to play a bigger part in Canadians’ investment decisions.”
At Pique, we embrace a more holistic view – investing with Head, Heart, Body and Soul – that is, integrating analysis, emotion, body, and intuition into our investment decisions. This integrated investing approach enables us to use all the inputs available to us and think beyond the single metric of short-term gains. We’re focused on investing in a diverse community of leaders that understand the benefits of improving access to essential resources for many. We’re finding that such founders are building technologies with long term utility not just short-term gains. They are building – and we are investing in – companies that care, connect and protect, which we believe is a smart investment strategy in the long-run.
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About Pique Ventures
Pique Ventures is an impact investment and management company. Pique Ventures enables a diverse community of investors to pursue integrated investing. Integrated Investing is a proprietary investment decision-making methodology to help create a better world and was developed specifically to evaluate impact and early-stage ventures.