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Financing Impact

May 16, 2023

In our eight episode, we discuss impact investing in EdTech. Our guests bring a complementary perspective: Marie-Christine Levet is founding partner at Educapital, a European EdTech VC that closed its second fund with a €150 million closing. John Soleanicov works for the Jacobs Foundation, which committed CHF 30 million to impact investments into EdTech, and CHF 10 million funding for accompanying research. We discuss the rationale for promoting EdTech and the complementary roles of grants and impact investments. We hear about Educapital’s and the Jacobs Foundation’s approach to impact measurement, and how Marie-Christine incentives her team to strive for more impact. Our conversation also touches upon what business models based on advertising mean for inclusion and educational sovereignty. 


·       This two-pager explains the Jacobs Foundation’s CHF 40 million commitment to global EdTech research and investment

·       Educapital’s website includes annual impact and ESG reports

·       John cited the “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA) tiers of evidence as a framework that helps assess qualitative differences in impact measurement.



On some podcast players, you should be able to jump to the section by clicking:

(01:57) - Marie-Christine and John introduce themselves

(09:17) - Why the Jacobs Foundation does impact investing through grant making and not via an endowment

(12:21) - The impact indicators used by Educapital

(16:32) - How the Jacobs Foundation promotes uptake of evidence on what works in EdTech through investor demand

(19:45) – Reconciling education as a public good with the role of private sector incentives to accelerate change

 (21:00) – Research and investing are different, yet both need data

(24:41) - How Educapital incentivizes impact through the carry of the fund

(26:39) - Certification for different levels of evidence related to education products

(31:18) - The need for a European EdTech industry to maintain educational sovereignty

(40:29): - Why impact-linked compensation is a stronger signal than SFDR article 9

(41:50) - On sourcing impact investments

(44:14) - Outlook for the Edtech sector



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