For finding a good return on social impact
Nancy Pfund is a San Francisco-based venture capitalist who focuses on socially minded investments. After 25 years at Hambrecht & Quist, a boutique investment bank that was acquired by Chase Manhattan Bank (now JP Morgan Chase) in 1999, Pfund raised her first "double bottom line" fund before spinning off and creating her own firm, DBL Investors (which later became DBL Partners), in January 2008. DBL describes her firm's investing style: She seeks out companies that can both generate strong financial returns and have a positive social influence. Pfund made her name with early investments in Tesla Motors, Revolution Foods, SolarCity, and Pandora. With her latest fund, she’s expanding into new sectors. She’s backing the space-imaging company Planet Labs, which uses microsatellites to map and track environmental change and degradation, and Farmers Business Network, an agricultural data-sharing service that helps farmers improve their resource allocations and ability to prosper on their farms. She also led an $18 million round of funding for Advanced Microgrid Solutions, which offers businesses energy-storage systems through battery and demand response networks that can reduce reliance on the grid, prevent power outages, and curtail energy costs. In 2015, DBL closed a $400 million fund, its largest yet.