The pharmaceutical company's Social Impact Venture Capital Portfolio helps improve healthcare access for black and other minority groups in the US.

a Black man talking to someone over coffee
Image courtesy of Eli Lilly and Company.

US pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly and Company set aside an additional $50m for its Social Impact Venture Capital Portfolio yesterday, increasing its size to $300m.

Formed in 2020 as part of Eli Lilly’s Racial Justice Commitment, the Social Impact Venture Capital Portfolio has since supplied $110m to funds for eight US-based black and minority-led VC firms, half of which are led by women.

The initiative reflects the company’s commitment to giving access to healthcare for black Americans and other marginalised communities in the country. It already has a scheme in place, dubbed Lilly 30×30, which is intended to help 30 million extra people get care by 2030.

Eli Lilly will use the additional $50m to invest in VC firms focusing on near and long-term healthcare programmes for patients in low and middle-income economies, covering areas such as hospital systems, pharmacies, medical devices, digital health, diagnostics and therapeutics.

Part of the additional capital has already been committed to impact investment firm LeapFrog’s Emerging Consumer Fund IV, which backs African, South and Southeast Asian companies that provide innovative healthcare services to low-income patients.

“Lilly is pleased to announce the expansion of our inclusive, for-profit Social Impact Venture Capital Portfolio aimed at leveraging Lilly’s resources to invest with purpose,” Anat Ashkenazi, Eli Lilly’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, said in a statement.

“Through this investing strategy, we are not only taking into account the potential for monetary returns but also a fund’s impact on people’s lives, livelihoods, health and wellbeing.”

Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.