Trust Ventures has raised $70 million for a second venture capital fund that focuses on startups tackling social issues or significant publicy policy matters. It’s based on the notion that startups can accomplish great things for society, as well as making money.
More than $70 million has been committed to the Austin, Texas-based fund, but the overall goal is to hit $100 million. The regulatory filing for the fund will likely be filed within the next week, the company said, and the money will go to startups whose services will greatly improve society but who face significant public policy barriers that stifle growth.
The idea is to address policy barriers that prevent companies from introducing products and services that add value to people’s lives.
The group’s unique approach to venture capital focuses on breaking down regulations that are outdated or protect established corporate interests, spurring innovation in areas that address core needs of every American.
“Many of our greatest societal challenges are no longer simply technological, but also require addressing a complex system of public policy barriers that too often serve established companies, rather than innovators and consumers,” said Salen Churi, partner at Trust Ventures, in a statement. “Entrepreneurs can drive tremendous social impact in key areas like affordable housing, healthcare, and zero-emission energy, but these are often the areas with the highest barriers. We offer our portfolio [startups] the strategic guidance they need to overcome those barriers and get these innovations into the hands of the people who need them most.”
Trust Ventures partner Brian Tochman added, “The companies our fund has worked with are innovating in ways that are both competitive in the marketplace and good for consumers. People deserve access to innovations that improve their lives, which is why leveling the playing field against established interests is so crucial. And it’s why we’re working to disrupt the institutions and barriers that cement their market dominance.”
With its previous fund, the group has made investments across a range of industries, including energy, food, insurance, and healthcare, all areas where companies seeking to revolutionize the market face significant barriers. The previous fund raised $35 million and debuted in 2018.
The firm’s portfolio includes a number of groundbreaking companies:
Oklo has developed next-generation fission reactor technologies that can supply inexpensive zero-emission energy and run on fuel recycled from existing reactors. Its introduction will bring dramatically improved sustainability, efficiency, and cost savings to the energy sector.
Icon is an Austin-based construction technology company dedicated to revolutionizing homebuilding and making durable, dignified, and affordable housing the standard for people throughout the world. Using proprietary 3D printing robotics and advanced materials and software, Icon is solving critical problems in the construction industry with breakthrough technologies.
Emergy Foods, a Boulder, Colorado-based startup offering a plant-based meat alternative, has the potential to be highly disruptive in the protein industry. Their product has the taste, texture, and nutritional profile of animal-derived meat while using a sustainable, environmentally friendly production method.
Trust Ventures’ portfolio also includes innovative groups like Visibly, Veryable, and Sana Benefits.
The firm was founded by Salen Churi and Brian Tochman. Churi, a former law professor at the University of Chicago and founder of its Innovation Clinic, has worked to help dozens of startups overcome public policy challenges. He recently coauthored The Trust Revolution: How the Digitization of Trust Will Revolutionize Business and Government.
Tochman was a cofounder of Kasita, which produces technologically advanced modular homes and apartments. He also served as vice president of mergers and acquisitions for Platinum Equity, a Beverly Hills, California-based private equity fund rated by Pitchbook and Dow Jones as one of the highest-performing PE funds in the world.
Trust Ventures has four employees.