The trend towards impact investing: The shaping of impact within venture capital impact investments in startups

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The focus on sustainability is ever-increasing. Over the last years almost every aspect social, economic, governmental has dealt with the rising trend of sustainability. Consequently, sustainability has also found its ground in venture capitalism. Where venture capitalism was first primarily focused on profit maximization, it now shifts towards impact investing. This study aims to provide an answer on how impact is shaped within impact investing of VCs in startups. The data is gathered through semi-structured interviews with an alongside survey. Additional data is gathered through follow-up interviews. Hereafter, the data was coded, and quotes were found to substantiate the results. The results indicated that the impact investment market suffers from challenges that are also present on the market for regular investments. Moreover, the real challenge on the market surrounds the topic of impact itself. The market lacks a generalizable all-encompassing definition of impact and consequently impact is seen as a vague term and is used for one’s personal benefit. The effort into a generalizable definition is still lacking but to alleviate the vagueness on the impact investment market it is advised to standardize the measurement models used for determining promising investment opportunities.
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