MMC Ventures gains B Corp status and illustrates venture capital as force for good

Research-led venture capital fund, MMC Ventures, announced that it has become a certified B Corp, and in turn has joined the effort to create a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

To gain certification, B Lab UK had to first analyse the company and confirm that in addition to making a profit, it meets five areas of social and environmental standards: governance, workers, community, environment and customers.

Having been assessed on issues such as its diversity strategy, staff compensation, energy usage and waste management, MMC Ventures now joins the ranks of 3,500 B Corp businesses across the globe. The UK businesses make up around a third of B Corp companies, which include Pip & Nut, TOMS and Innocent Drinks.

The certification will also make MMC Ventures one of the ‘very few’ venture capital firms to make it through the assessment process, with just 2.5% of global B Corps members being equity investors.

The company said that it has a history of backing purpose-led businesses; such as recipe box business, Gousto, which is committed to recycling and reducing waste; online knitting community, Wool and Gang, which disrupts normal manufacturing methods; and coffee subscription service, Pact Coffee, which pays a premium to its farmers versus Fair Trade rates.

In addition to its core Series A investing, MMC Ventures said it will be deploying ‘a significant portion ‘ of the capital from its £52 million Seed fund on investing exclusively in sustainable technologies and the circular economy.

Investments from this fund – called The MMC Greater London Fund – include Qflow, a software provider that reduces the impact of construction on the environment, and Unmade, which uses software into textile manufacturing machines, and means brands only produce what is actually being sold.

Speaking on the company’s B Corp certification, Bruce Macfarlane, founder and managing partner of MMC Ventures, said: “2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of MMC. While we celebrate that milestone and all the firm has achieved, we wanted to find a means of demonstrating the community-minded values of fairness, honesty and respect on which we were founded. B Corp certification was the answer”.

Kate Sandle, director of Programmes and Engagement of B Lab UK, added: “Being able to welcome MMC Ventures to the B Corp community is hugely exciting. Their commitment to doing business differently will be an inspiration to others and really help spread the idea that we can redefine success in business to be as much about people and planet as it is about profit”.

The news marks yet another company successfully committing to more sustainable business practices. Supporting ethical and innovative initiatives is a worthy cause, and MMC’s new B Corp certification should see it gain more traction with the growing crowd of discerning investors.

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Jamie Gordon
Senior Journalist at the UK Investor Magazine. Also a contributing writer at the Investment Observer, UK Property Journal and UK Startup Magazine. Postgraduate of King's College London with a specialisation in Business Ethics. Interested in Development Economics and David Hume.