One of the questions we get most often as impact investors is “How do you define impact?”  At Eagle, our passion is people’s lives transformed, so impact means real people with names experiencing “my life will never be the same” moments.  We are part of transforming lives through building and investing in for-profit companies that are solving the world’s biggest problems. We believe the purpose of business is to solve problems, and the highest calling of business is to participate in solving the toughest challenges society faces.

Here are examples of businesses catalyzing transformed lives today:

Freeing a Person from Slavery

According to the Mekong Club, 25,000 people begin their journey of human trafficking each day, while only 136 of them are helped by all nonprofits and government efforts combined. Almost half of the current 50 million slaves in the world are trafficked for their labor.  The gut wrenching part is that many of those people work on products sold to western countries like the USA, Germany, and Switzerland. FRDM is a software company that helps companies analyze supply chains to find trafficking and other human rights violations. As FRDM scales, our hope is to radically drive down demand for goods produced with slave labor, destroy the economics of labor trafficking, and free millions of slaves.

Up-skilling a Person from a Minimum Wage Job to a Lucrative Career

Many communities have very little access to career-making training opportunities like a coder’s boot camp that can cost thousands of dollars while training over a period of 3-6 months with no income. VeroSkills has flipped the script, asking companies who need tech talent to pay the majority of the training fee to feed their recruiting pipeline while partnering with leading nonprofits to provide low-cost virtual boot camps with live tutors for these underserved communities.

Mentoring Disadvantaged Youth from Elementary School into a Thriving Career

Mentorship has consistently proven to be one of the most effective ways to help underserved youth, but the one-on-one mentoring commitment is often too much for many adults. UpFrom makes mentorship into a team sport by surrounding a youth with a team of four families and monetizes with a “Go Fund Me-like marketplace” that facilitates mini-campaigns for child needs like tutoring or guitar lessons.

Providing Access to Healthcare for Low Income Communities

Malaria kills 619,000 people each year, yet common practice is either daily use of DEET - a long-lasting neurotoxin - or using nets which are impractical except for during sleep. LivFul has developed a 100% natural bug repellant that is both safer and more effective than DEET, designed and priced for communities where people make $3 to $10 per day. They measure impact through (1) lives saved (2) jobs created in disadvantaged communities, and (3) life-days of health without malaria (in many communities the workforce is significantly affected by absenteeism from malaria).

An Ex-convict Thriving in the Local Community

Many returning citizens are released from prison much less healthy than they entered. They struggle to find healthcare, housing, and upon release. Patient Sortal is a for-profit company that provides a “digital Veteran’s Administration” for returning citizens, helping them to find a doctor, refill prescriptions, and pursue preventative health.

Each of these companies are transforming lives and also have a potential for significant financial profit. We believe the purpose of investing is to transform lives.  We do this through building and investing in scalable companies solving the toughest problems on the planet.  Profit is also good.  It is natural for these companies to make significant profit because their profit is a fruit of positively transforming many lives.  We’re incredibly thankful for our track record, but our track record is not the purpose of Eagle, the track record is the fruit of positively changing people’s lives.  

Eagle’s dream is to transform 1,000,000 lives through for-profit investments.  We have learned that to achieve our huge goals for the number of people’s lives transformed, we have to build ecosystems of collaboration between for profit, nonprofit, and government entities to tackle huge problems like global human trafficking and systemic poverty.  We’ve re-structured Eagle into a three-part group, including the Eagle Foundation, the Eagle Funds, and the Eagle Labs.   Eagle Foundation strives to catalyze and sustain the ecosystem interactions that move the needle on these big issues. The Eagle Labs incubate scalable solutions to society’s problems, and about ¼ of Eagle portfolio companies are born in one of our venture studios.  The funds’ role is to invest in companies that are tackling the toughest problems in the world.