Giraffe Launches Impact Investment Platform With $10.5M Seed Round
Modern workers expect their employers to fuel positive social and environmental change. Giraffe aims to help companies do just that by extending value-based investing to their teams as an employee benefit — and the New York-based startup is growing its reach with a $10.5 million seed raise.
Giraffe’s solution lets employees invest in companies and funds working to make positive impacts in areas that match an employee’s personal values, such as gender equality, sustainable climate or animal welfare. By simplifying the impact investing process, Giraffe hopes to help companies improve their workplace culture by granting employees financial, social and moral benefits.
Employers use Giraffe to compensate employees through investment vouchers. These vouchers can be redeemed in stocks of companies of employees’ choice. Through Giraffe’s web app, employees can manage their investment portfolios and reference major financial indexes to ensure they receive sustainable returns. The platform enables users to invest with minimums as low as $100, according to a company release.
By helping their employees invest in causes that matter, employers can view their quantified overall impact in their environmental, social and governance reports. Giraffe aims to help employers meet the demand of today’s workforce, where the majority of younger workers, namely Gen Z and millennials, expect companies to prioritize ESG goals as much as financial outcomes.
Having previously operated in a closed beta program, Giraffe is actively seeking out clientele for its newly-launched platform. Hoping to grow in time with its client base, Giraffe wants to increase its New York-based headcount to several dozen people within the next two years, Itai Kohavi, Giraffe’s CEO and co-founder, told Built In via email.
“As Giraffe continues to grow, I am eager to make impact-driven investment a societal norm,” Kohavi said. “Today’s workforce is highly value-oriented, and I firmly believe that corporations carry the responsibility to promote impact-driven initiatives, whether it’s through donations, volunteering, increasing awareness, and now for the first time, leveraging Giraffe to drive positive change.”
Backed by its seed funding from lead investor Group 11, Giraffe plans to advance its personalized indexing engine and due diligence algorithm. The capital will also go toward acquiring new U.S.-based customers.