After a year in business, $100M TELUS Pollinator Fund has invested $20M into 10 companies

40% of startups in its portfolio are led by women and 50% led by Indigenous and racialized people.

The TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good, the $100-million social impact fund launched by TELUS in 2020, celebrated its one-year anniversary this week with nearly $20 million invested in 10 companies. As part of the celebrations, the fund revealed three new investments in North American companies Goodmylk, Nectar and Gotcare.

In addition, the Pollinator Fund shared an inaugural impact report which highlights a number of milestones. For instance, 40% of startups in its portfolio are led by women and 50% led by Indigenous and racialized people. In addition, 60% of its portfolio companies are based in Canada, and the firm was able to help 30% of them raise additional capital.

“Our TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good builds on TELUS’ legacy of leveraging our globally leading technology, coupled with our human ingenuity, to invest in new start-up businesses that are both enabling better social outcomes in the communities where we live, work and serve, as well as achieving strong economic returns,” said TELUS boss Darren Entwistle. As his company reflects on the fund’s first year, he said they’re “proud of the impact the Fund is having on pollinating business innovation, creating a catalytic effect on social capitalism and inspiring the next generation of responsible businesses.”

Commenting on the milestone, Jill Schnarr, chief social innovation officer at TELUS, said: “In 12 short months, we’ve made excellent progress, grown our team, and look forward to scaling our impact in the years to come as we seek new opportunities to partner with diverse founders of companies driven by both profit and purpose.”

The TELUS Pollinator Fund has invested in new businesses including EliteGamingLIVE (EGL), Fresh City Farms, Pocket Naloxone, Raven Indigenous Capital Partners, Windmill Microlending, Tidal Vision and Rhiza Capital.

The Pollinator Fund invests in early stage companies and provides strategic value such as connections and networking that leverage the strength of TELUS as a whole. The Pollinator Fund is also meant to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals by investing in companies and founders that are advancing products and solutions to transform healthcare, care for the planet, support responsible agriculture and enable inclusive communities.

The fund’s work has been recognized for its impact. Among its accolades are a Clean50 Awards Top Project award and being named a finalist for the Reuters Business Awards for Social Impact.