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Inside Trousdale Ventures, A VC Firm With A Vested Interest In Championing Positive Social Change

Phillip Sarofim of Trousdale Ventures

Posted Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - 10:50 am

Trousdale Ventures, the venture capital firm founded by philanthropist-investor Phillip Sarofim, has always had at its core a desire to make a difference in local communities and the world at large.

Now, the firm is set to introduce impact investing—a new form of socially responsible lending that’s gaining traction among those looking to “do well by doing good”—and it’s clear why it has also become a top priority for Trousdale Ventures.

Impact investing supports companies that are committed to generating a measurable social or environmental impact in addition to securing a financial return. Fueled by investors who believe in the power of positive change, this form of socially responsible investing is growing across asset classes, countering the long-held view that social and environmental issues should only be addressed by philanthropic donations—and that market investments should focus exclusively on achieving financial returns.

According to a report published by Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) in May 2017, impact investing has become a $114 billion industry. Research firm The Monitor Group estimates that impact investing could continue to grow to become a $500 billion industry over the next decade. As the impact investment market expands, it brings much-needed expertise and innovation to address the world’s most pressing challenges in sectors ranging from sustainable agriculture and renewable energy to conservation, healthcare, and education.

How Trousdale Ventures Is Making an Impact

Driven by a desire to support businesses that enhance our lives and our planet, Trousdale Ventures has built a portfolio of socially responsible companies involved in the areas of child development, health and wellness, and urban transportation.

As both a private equity and venture capital firm, Trousdale Ventures invests its “social venture capital” in much the same way it invests in early-stage companies—by taking an active role mentoring or leading the teams behind each company.

Trousdale Ventures’ socially responsible portfolio includes:

Ostendo Technologies, Inc.,  – a Carlsbad-based company with offices in Beverly Hills, is soon to unveil a revolutionary technology that will impact energy, lighting, and display markets across the U.S. and around the globe, directly in line with Trousdale’s focus on advancing efficiency in the energy sector.

• Pavemint a Los Angeles-based company whose first-ever parking app transforms private property into public parking opportunities while also generating revenue for registered property owners, cutting traffic for drivers, and reducing pollution for cities.

• EQtainment – an ed-tech and edu-media platform, EQtainment serves as an innovative tool for developing the social, emotional and learning skills of growing children with an array of apps, games, and music programming.

• HopSkipDrive – a community-based ride service designed to help kids get around safely.

• Legacy Pioneers a technology company dedicated to providing education, training, and career development to students studying abroad, with a concentration on building bridges between the U.S. and China.

• Pr3vent – a Palo Alto-based healthcare technology company that is developing an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that allows for the early diagnosis and intervention of eye problems among infants.

Both Pr3vent and HopSkipDrive were investments made jointly between Trousdale Ventures and global private investment firm Skyview Capital (www.skyview.com) founded by its CEO, noted private equity and venture capital executive Alex Soltani.

Trousdale Ventures has also recently invested in Good Shepherd Entertainment, a globally renowned video game publisher with a collection of top-selling releases. Good Shepherd is invested in bringing awareness to mental health issues in the gaming industry. It also supports Take This, a nonprofit that provides resources, guidelines, and training about mental health issues in the gaming community.

An Empowered Private Sector Can Inspire Social Change

Trousdale Ventures has always maintained that the private sector—not just nonprofits and philanthropic groups — can be a positive force for social change. In this era, as communities struggle against unprecedented challenges, Trousdale understands that it has a responsibility to identify sustainable solutions. To that end, the firm has made impact investing a top priority. Every day, it strives to inform, inspire, and challenge its portfolio of investment companies to find solutions that drive positive social change.

As younger generations, especially Millennials, are more and more attracted to impact investing, Trousdale Ventures has also begun working with universities such as UCLA and the University of Texas to help activate the next generation of entrepreneurs.

For more information on Phillip Sarofim and Trousdale Ventures, visit trousdaleventuresvc.com.

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