coLABS, a gender-lens investment portfolio launched by US based impact investor Gray Matters Capital (GMC), is inviting applications from market driven, post-revenue ventures that demonstrably create sustainable futures for women at scale.
Social enterprises that align with the investment criteria, advance through the due diligence process, and are successful in pitching their businesses to the Investment Committee have the potential to secure a revenue-share investment between US$100,000 and US$250,000. In addition to the financial support, coLABS provides technical assistance and strategic guidance to teams by helping them formalise an advisory board, providing access to stronger networks, and offering customised feedforward to help scale their business.
“coLABS was one of Redbird’s earliest supporters. Their straightforward process and investment at a stage that was too early for many other investors enabled Redbird to build the traction and demonstrate the product-market fit that was necessary to bring on other investors. With their support, Redbird’s early growth phase was significantly accelerated. Of course, their support did not stop after their investment and our early traction. coLABS has continued to be a strong supporter of Redbird, with value-added assistance through introductions, advice, and collaboration,” said Patrick Beattie, CEO, Redbird Health Tech.
Applications are welcome from early stage enterprises that:
- Are intentional about impacting women and have a product or a service that is tackling a critical barrier faced by women and/or girls
- Are market-driven and post-revenue
- Have tested their business model and seen it to be sustainable
- Are innovative in who they serve (target market), how they serve them (model), and/or the door they’re opening for women (impact)
- Are ready to scale their business to maximise social impact and financial returns and for revenue-share as the investment structure
- Are leveraging technology to provide women and/or girls with access to financial capital, healthcare, skill building and job placement, education, and supply chain (specifically around the distribution of essential goods and services)
- Are run by entrepreneurs who are nimble and laser-focused on their customers
- Have a gender diverse team with strong local representation
“We have been so impressed by the many African entrepreneurs who are creating innovative solutions to tackle the barriers affecting women, that we are looking to deepen our presence on the continent by allocating the majority of our committed capital to fund promising enterprises in the region that meet our investment criteria. We are also encouraged by the number of teams made up of local talent who have vast knowledge of the challenges that they are tackling and design customer-driven innovations to address these gaps,” said Jennifer Soltis, Global Lead, coLABS, Gray Matters Capital.
Since its launch in 2018, coLABS has invested in nine social enterprises across sectors from civic engagement, to health, livelihoods and agri-tech, and countries spanning four continents.