Crowdfunding for Impact in Europe and the USA

This report has been prepared by the Toniic Institute in partnership with the European Crowdfunding Network. It seeks to frame the opportunity for cooperation between impact investing and the equity and debt crowdfunding sectors in the US and Europe.
Although many research papers focus on crowdfunding or impact investing, very few explore how crowdfunding can scale debt or equity impact investing. Yet there is a strong fit between the two–and there is an undeniable need and significant opportunity for social entrepreneurs to leverage online platforms to access investors, and for investors to access greater dealflow.More than one million campaigns are estimated to have raised $2.7 billlion worldwide across all types of crowdfunding platforms in 2012. This figure is expected to reach $5.1 billion in 2013, almost double the 2012 figure.  Given these trends, the impact investing community is showing interest in equity and/ or debt-based crowdfunding as a tool for harvesting more impact opportunities. This report illustrates the progress of crowdinvesting for impact in the EU and the USA, while also highlighting risks, regional regulatory differences and case studies of successful online impact investments.

Despite the challenges ahead, this report offers an optimistic outlook for the equity and debt crowdfunding sector, and about the possibilities for impact investors to operate successfully within this sector. In addition to broad compatibility in terms of geographic location and choice of financial instruments, the opportunity for investors is framed by certain key investment indicators which can be derived from the crowd: social proofing/proof of concept, product validation and market size. Of course, the risks and challenges
for investors and social entrepreneurs are significant. However, we expect these risks to be largely, although not entirely, mitigated through solid regulatory frameworks and a competitive environment for crowdfunding platforms enforcing principles of transparency, self-regulation and social and environmental responsibility.

In keeping with the principle of democratization of capital through crowdfunding, Toniic is pioneering the notion that equity or debt-based crowdfunding can be a tool to democratize impact investing.

Creating a Better Future Through Transparency

By Lisa Kleissner for the Stanford Social Innovation Review Blog

We need more investors to share their impact performance data.

Stuck in traffic recently, I had time to check out the bumper sticker on the car ahead of me. Although faded by the sun, the message stood out: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” My husband, Charly, and I have been creating our future as long as I can remember. We began the day we met—at Honolulu International Airport—back in 1974. Our efforts continue to this day with our personal wealth and through our philanthropy as the KL Felicitas Foundation.

Read More

Evolution of an Impact Portfolio: From Implementation to Results

Sonen Capital, a leading Social & Environmental impact investment firm, in collaboration with the KL Felicitas Foundation (KLF), announced the launch of the first-of-its-kind report detailing the financial performance of an impact investing portfolio. The report, titledEvolution of an Impact Portfolio: From Implementation to Resultsdemonstrates to investors that impact investments can compete with, and at times outperform, traditional asset allocation strategies while pursuing meaningful and measurable social and environmental impact results.

Evolution of an Impact Portfolio is written for asset owners, advisors, and other intermediaries interested in learning more about building diversified impact portfolios anchored in rigorous financial analysis and ongoing assessments of factors affecting macroeconomic conditions.

Read More

Impact Investing in West Africa

Impact Investing in West Africa, a report written by Dalberg Global Development Advisors and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, is the first comprehensive analysis ever conducted on the impact investing industry in West Africa.

The report aims to: map the landscape of impact investing supply and demand in West Africa; identify the substantive challenges that hamper the growth of the industry and recommend solutions for overcoming them; and serve as a starting point for regional dialogue and local network development activities among impact investors.

Why Translation is a Key Tenet of Natural Capitalism

Natural capitalists and financial capitalists don’t often come face to face, but theWorld Forum on Natural Capital will bring these two groups together. Of course, some are members of both communities. What will happen?

But let’s assume that the natural capitalists have a shared mission to accelerate corporate behavior change to create an economy that runs within environmental limits.  What then are the key tools natural capitalists must acquire and deploy for success?  I propose three above all – translation, pragmatism and stamina.

J.P.Morgan Social Finance Providing Financial Services For Impact Investments

Forbes Asia interviewed Amy Bell, Head of Principal Investments for J.P. Morgan Social Finance, which provides financial services to the growing market for impact investments, meaning those investments made with intent to generate impact alongside a financial return.

She has overseen the group’s principal investment portfolio, which seeks to earn a reasonable rate of return alongside of achieving positive impact on low-income and excluded populations around the world. The deals completed to date include investments in MicroVest II, the LeapFrog Financial Inclusion Fund, IGNIA, the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund, and the African Agricultural Capital Fund.

Read More

Investor’s Circle

Toniic Global Meeting (Big Sur, California)

Monday and Tuesday
September 2nd and 3rd
Families welcome

Latin America Practice Group Call

Tuesday August 6th
9:00am-11:00am Pacific Time
17h00 UK / 19h00 CEST

Asia Practice Group Call

Tuesday July 30th
9:00am-11:00am Pacific Time
17h00 UK / 19h00 CEST

Alternative Deal Structures Call

Tuesday July 23rd
8:00am-9:00am Pacific Time
16h00 UK / 17h00 CEST

Haiti Investment Opportunities Call

Tuesday July 16th
9:00am-11:00am Pacific Time
17h00 UK / 19h00 CEST


Portapure manufactures and sells water purification products where clean drinking water is inaccessible. This includes remote communities and natural disaster sites. In these situations, Portapure’s products provide clean drinking water for survival. Portapure is the inventor, technology owner, manufacturing mold owner, trademark owner, and copyright holder for all product offerings. Leveraging its patented technology, Portapure has created a set of products that are: Proven to exceed stringent health and safety standards; Superior price compared to existing alternatives; Designed for portability and ease-of-use
To differentiate from the current competitors, Portapure leverages technology, affordability and the right product-market fit driven through focus group customer analysis. Portapure has designed portable water systems to make water from any river, lake, or stream safe to consume by removing all known viruses and bacteria.
Portapure’s current main product offering is:
PureLives – A home-use, 5-gallon water purification device

Waste Capital Partners

Urban India produces a mound of garbage every week that weighs more than twice the Empire State Building. Only half of this is collected and dumped. Little is processed despite municipalities spend half their budget on the issue. Residents are fed up. Waste Capital Partners trains and employs waste pickers to conduct doorstep waste collection in small towns in India for a monthly subscription from the household itself. Waste Capital Partners then environmentally processes the waste forming a quality soil amendment they sell to local farmers and also aggregate and sell recyclables. In total, 85% of the waste is environmentally processed, 20,000 carbon tons are averted per 100,000 households, and the income of the waste picker is doubled. The business is already cashflow positive and recently secured interest from key state officials in two major states of India. Its board consists of the founders of SELCO, BASIX, and IDE-I and its management has 40+ years of operational experience in profitable social enterprise businesses with a focus on Public Private Partnerships.

Digital Divide Data

Digital Divide Data (DDD) is a social business that creates jobs for talented youth in emerging market countries by delivering high-quality content business process outsourcing (BPO) services to clients. DDD’s social enterprise empowers staff with the skills and experience they need to lift themselves out of poverty. Founded in 2001, DDD develops a strong workforce in countries with untapped talent. The organization identifies and recruits motivated, disadvantaged youth who would not otherwise have access to good jobs or higher education. DDD alumni go on to high-skilled positions in which they earn more than four times the average regional wage. This enables them to break the cycle of poverty that traps their families. With a sustainable approach to growth, DDD employs more than 1000 people across offices in Cambodia, Laos, Kenya.


Copia Global Inc (“Copia”) is a consumer catalog order and delivery system for nonperishable and durable goods serving Base of the Pyramid consumers in the developing world. By making accessible a wide range of consumer goods from thread to sewing machines, from nails to hammers, from matches to solar lights, Copia’s mission is to improve the quality of life of BoP people, transforming them into empowered global consumers. Much as the Sears catalog revolutionized life in the pioneer days of the United States and Amazon revolutionized life in the internet age, the Company will apply many of the same marketing and distribution concepts to this huge untapped market. Copia launched a 12 month pilot in Nairobi, Kenya in August 2012. Already sales (both number of orders and revenues) have exceeded expectations, providing proof of concept for this revolutionary idea. Meaning “abundance” in Latin, Copia was founded by Jonathan Lewis and Tracey Turner and is led by CEO Crispin Murira.


Crowdfunder helps fund social enterprises, startups and small businesses through a unique blend of 2 powerful crowdfunding models: Investment or Rewards-based crowdfunding. Crowdfunder also uniquely localizes crowdfunding down to the community level with CROWDFUNDx, providing free dedicated online communities for groups, cities and angel groups to empower their membership and syndicate deals to the crowd.

One of our most recent CROWDFUNDx initiatives was CROWDFUNDxImpact for Social Enterprises, which had over 4,000 new community members join online and over 150 social enterprises enter. We created multiple funding outcomes and had over $100M in impact investment capital in attendance at the live pitch event finale for CROWDFUNDxImpact.

Hub Ventures

Hub Ventures is a startup accelerator and seed fund for entrepreneurs building a better world. The program provides seed funding, mentorship & guidance, collaborative workspace, and investor connections to startups developing scalable technology solutions to improve livelihoods and reduce the consumption of resources around the world. Hub Ventures is filling the seed-funding gap for impact startups working in a variety of verticals including job creation, health & wellness, education, collaborative consumption, off-grid energy, and more. We have accelerated 29 companies since 2011, over 60% of which have raised millions in follow-on funding, and over 80% of which are operating today. Hub Ventures is part of the Global Accelerator Network, championed by TechStars, and is backed by an all-star lineup of partners including Good Capital, Hub Bay Area, and Lakeland Ventures Development.

Niall O’Cathasaigh

Niall is a founder and partner of ManoCap, a private equity fund management company that has been making equity investments in small to mid-cap enterprises in West Africa since 2006. He has lived in Sierra Leone since 2004, initially working as the Financial Controller for GOAL Sierra Leone, and since November 2005 on the development of ManoCap.

Niall is a qualified management accountant (CIMA) with an industry background. He has previously worked as an Accounting and Finance manager for Apple Computer at their European Headquarters and as Accounting Manager for the French subsidiary companies of Avery Dennison.

Niall established and exited his own business in Ireland before training to become an accountant.

Liesbet Peeters

Liesbet Peeters is a founding partner at D. Capital. She advises foundations, development institutions and private investors on impact investing and innovative finance in emerging markets.

She has particular expertise on structuring financing facilities that combine public and private stakeholders in tackling development challenges across multiple sectors. Her experience includes advising a number of health- focused foundations on developing more sustainable funding solutions for diseases like malaria and HIV, advising a large donor on setting up a new global education fund to enroll out-of-school children, and advising numerous private family foundations on structuring impact investing vehicles to invest in SMEs in Africa & Latin America. Prior to joining Dalberg, she founded an investment advisory firm, Lapiluz Advisory Services, based in Belgium and London. She was previously the CFO/Investor Relations Manager with Capricorn Venture Partners in Belgium; an Investment Officer with the Grassroots Business Fund at the IFC. Liesbet has an MBA from MIT and a Master’s degree in Commercial Engineering from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.

Aner-Ben Ami

Aner was a Project Leader at the Boston Consulting Group, where he worked with clients in the energy, water and transportation sectors. Aner is an experienced management consultant, with 5+ years of experience developing growth and business development strategies for industry leaders in the water, energy and transportation sectors. Aner holds an MBA with honors from the Kellogg School of Management and a BA in Economics and History (magna cum laude) from Tel Aviv University.

Aner is passionate about re-defining the role of business and finance and believes investment capital can catalyze a transition to a more just and sustainable economic system.

Wes Selke

Wes is Founding Director of Hub Ventures, a startup accelerator for entrepreneurs building a better world.

Hub Ventures provides seed funding, mentorship, collaborative workspace, and investor connections to startups building scalable technology solutions to improve livelihoods and reduce resource consumption. Wes is also the Investment Manager for Good Capital’s Social Enterprise Expansion Fund, where he leads deal sourcing, due diligence, transaction execution, and engagement for a portfolio of growth-stage companies focused on education and sustainable supply chains. He is actively engaged with the portfolio as Chairman of the Board for Alter Eco and as Board Observer for Better World Books and Adina for Life. Prior to Good Capital, Wes spent two years as an Equity Research Associate at William Blair & Company covering the Digital Media Sector, and four years with Ernst & Young Corporate Finance where he advised privately held companies on mergers, acquisitions, and restructuring transactions. He earned an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley and a BBA from the University of Michigan. Wes is an active member of Christ Church East Bay, where he serves as a parish leader and director of the financial advisory board. He lives in Oakland, CA with his wife and two young kids and enjoys cycling in the East Bay hills and Sunday trips to the local farmers market.

Toniic is Hiring: Toniic Internship

About Toniic

Toniic LLC is a global network of action-oriented impact investors, both individuals and institutions. We increase the velocity of money and services into impact investing to address global challenges. Our members commit to discover, evaluate, nurture and invest in entrepreneurs, enterprises and funds that are changing the world for the better. Between our 45 members, we are looking to place $100 million into global social enterprise. Over this next year we will expand significantly globally, while also going deeper with our current members to enhance their investment practice, and by extension, their potential for social impact.

The Position

Toniic is seeking a San Francisco-based intern for 25 hours a week over an 8-week period starting July 8, 2013. The position will provide exposure to social entrepreneurs and to impact investors part of the Toniic Network. Responsibilities include:

  • Conducting research on the impact investment industry and writing briefs on specific geographies or sectors
  • Conducting research on the crowdfunding industry as it relates to impact investing (in the donation, equity and debt-based crowdfunding sectors)
  • Preparing marketing materials
  • Supporting our deal flow manager and membership service director in updating relevant deal databases
  • Preparing and attending investor calls and meetings
  • Attending impact investing industry events
  • Conducting other tasks as necessary

Required Skills/Experience

Candidates must:

  • Possess strong inter-personal, written and oral communication skills
  • Be part of an MBA or MPA or other relevant Masters program
  • Have a passion for the impact investment industry and a desire to join the industry post-graduation
  • Be comfortable with multiple software/online platforms; including Xcel, Powerpoint, Salesforce, the Google suite etc.
  • Have strong research skills and enjoy understanding trends in a nascent yet global industry
  • Be based in the San Francisco or Bay Area
  • Be ready to bring the level of creativity, commitment, time, patience, and humor it takes to work with a start-up organization


Toniic offers to pay $1500 as a stipend for 25hrs/week over the 8-week period. The hours of work are flexible though it will be required to join the team in the San Francisco office for at least 2 days a week.

Application Process

Please email your resume, cover letter, writing sample, salary history and the names of 3 references to by July 15, 2013, with the title: “Toniic Internship”. Please note that only candidates invited for an interview will be contacted. Thank you for your interest in Toniic!

Toniic is Hiring: Membership Services Director

Membership Services Director

About Toniic

Toniic LLC is a global network of action-oriented impact investors, both individuals and institutions. We increase the velocity of money and services into impact investing to address global challenges. Our members commit to discover, evaluate, nurture and invest in entrepreneurs, enterprises and funds that are changing the world for the better. Between our 45 members, we are looking to place $100 million into global social enterprise. Over this next year we will expand significantly globally, while also going deeper with our current members to enhance their investment practice, and by extension, their potential for social impact.

The Position

Toniic is seeking a Membership Services Director to lead our membership activities. Primary responsibilities are ensuring member satisfaction with Toniic, and providing support for the CEO in various areas. You will be an individual contributor, with wide responsibilities:

Member Services

• Leads on-boarding and some ongoing interaction/communication with new members
• Creates and executes systems for the collection and management of member, meeting and deal data, including analysis of results and trends
• Shares responsibility for individual member management
• Assists members as they complete Toniic deals
• Increases retention of Toniic members through innovation, and incorporation of best practices

Member Meetings

• Provides all project management to ensure successful monthly meetings, including technology systems, facilities, etc.
• Leads and/or supports regional/sector meetings as necessary

Deal Flow and Deal Execution Management

• Coordinate with Deal Flow Manager to track deal execution
• Accountable for maintenance of tracking and CRM systems

Supporting Roles:

• Provides materials and research support for online and offline marketing activities
• Leads CRM implementation and communication strategy
• Produces and manages Toniic newsletter to external stakeholders

Business Development
• Provides materials and research support for the recruitment of strategic partners (sponsors & non-sponsors) and members
• Shares foundation fundraising responsibilities

Other Back-Office
• Responsible for purchasing, implementing and service provider relationship for IT systems
• Responsible for maintenance of the Toniic website

Required Skills/Experience

Candidates must:
• Possess very strong inter-personal and communication skills
• Be detail-oriented and organized
• Entrepreneurial positive attitude a must!
• Have an understanding of the impact investment industry
• Be fully comfortable with multiple software/online platforms; including Excel, PowerPoint, Salesforce, the Google suite, Drupal or other web management software, etc.
• Have strong data management skills—collection, interpretation, turning into tangible action
• Based in the San Francisco or Bay Area
• Be ready to bring the level of creativity, commitment, time, patience, and humor it takes to work with a start-up organization

The ideal candidate would additionally:

• Have experience working with high net worth individuals in a “customer service” capacity
• Have marketing experience
• Have design or web development capabilities
• Have proficiency in multiple languages
• Have experience as an investor or investment manager in seed stage, VC or impact investments


Based on experience and salary history. This is a part-time role at 30 hours a week, initially – with the potential of scaling to full time. This role provides flexible working hours and is ideal for someone interested in getting into the impact investing industry.

Application Process

Please email your resume, cover letter, a writing sample, and the names of 3 references to Please note that only candidates that are invited for an interview will be contacted.

Nikolaus Hutter

Nikolaus has been leading the European growth and development of Toniic since April of 2012. An investment executive and entrepreneur with close to 15 years international experience, Nikolaus also initiated the first capacity building program for social entrepreneurs in Central and Eastern Europe, together with Social Impact International and the HUB Vienna. Prior, he worked 10 years as Venture Capital investor, most recently as Sector Partner Cleantech with CEE investment firm 3TS Capital Partners, and as a Partner with Austrian VC firm Gamma Capital Partners, where he build the Cleantech practice.

Nikolaus serves on the board and as an advisor to several organizations in the social entrepreneurship and impact investment space, including the Investment Committee of social VC fund ennovent, the Advisory Board of the HUB, and the business advisor network of NESsT. Further, he has been lecturing on Social Entrepreneurship since 2008.

Stephanie Cohn Rupp

Stephanie brings over a decade of experience in global impact investing, impact fund design and implementation, and microfinance, as well as more recently experience in crowd funding. 
Stephanie served as an executive team member of Razoo, a crowd funding platform where she led business development. She spent five years with Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm, managing investments in debt, equity, LoC and grants for US, South Asia, West Africa and Latin America enterprises focused on property rights and microfinance. Before Omidyar, she held positions at Planet Finance, UBS Investment Bank in NYC and London, and served as a consultant to the World Bank and UNESCO. Stephanie has served on the board of four international non-profits and two global investment funds and is currently on the board of Women Thrive Worldwide and Latet USA. 
Stephanie is Franco-American, bilingual and holds a Series 7 Securities License. She holds a B.Sc. in Politics and Philosophy from Bristol University, a M.Sc. in Comparative Government from the LSE and an MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School with a focus on Trade and Finance. She lives with her husband and daughter in San Francisco.

Deal Flow Overview

8:00am-9:00am Pacific Time

17h00 UK / 18h00 CEST

Deals Completed: Story-Telling

8:00am-9:00am Pacific Time

17h00 UK / 18h00 CEST

European Ski Trip

23-24 February 2013

Weekend Outing

Diligence Follow-Up Calls

13 February 2013

8:00am-10:00am Pacific Time

17h00 UK / 18h00 CEST

Global Member Meeting

12 February 2013

9:00am-11:00am Pacific Time

17h00 UK / 18h00 CEST

Theme Meeting: Africa

31 January 2013

9:00am-10:00am Pacific Time

17h00 UK / 18h00 CEST

Theme Meeting: Latin America

21 January 2013

9:00am-10:00am Pacific Time

17h00 UK / 18h00 CEST

Theme Meeting: India

17 January 2013

9:00am-10:00am Pacific Time

17h00 UK / 18h00 CEST