Claudine Emeott has been moved up to partner at Salesforce Ventures Impact Funds while Adrianna Alterman has been made a director.

US-listed customer relationship management software provider Salesforce has promoted two of its impact investment-focused corporate venturers.

Claudine Emeott has been made partner of Salesforce Ventures Impact Funds, which has made more than 30 investments, in companies including Guild Education, Flutterwave, Unite Us, Paper, Crehana, Andela, Urbint, Measurabl, BlocPower, Ellevest, FutureFuel and Sama.

Since early 2019, Emeott had been director and then senior director at the funds – a $100m second fund was launched last year following the first $50m vehicle in 2017 – after the departure of Meredith Finn in 2018.

In turn, Adrianna Alterman has been made director at the impact funds after two years as senior manager. Enki Toto had been promoted to senior manager at the Salesforce Ventures Impact Funds earlier this year after nearly two years as a manager.

Only 2.3% of all venture capital (VC) funding went to women-led startups in 2020 while 12% of decision makers at VC firms in the US are female. Emeott noted the correlation between the low number of female and diverse VCs and the percentage of funding directed toward female and diverse-led companies was no surprise.

“Just as entrepreneurs start companies aimed at problems they have experienced, VCs tend to gravitate toward companies that address their own lived experiences,” she said.

Emeott wants to increase representation in the tech startup community and vows to invest 50% of the fund’s capital in minority-led or founded companies.

As of the end of Salesforce’s last fiscal year, 60% of the Impact Fund’s portfolio companies had a female or underrepresented minority founder or CEO, and 82% of those companies have board members who are female or underrepresented minorities.

Patagonia was one of the first corporate impact investors in innovation, having set up a dedicated venture fund in 2013 to invest in startups “building renewable energy infrastructure, practicing regenerative organic agriculture, conserving water, diverting waste and creating sustainable materials”.

Since then, more than 30 corporations have publicly launched impact investment strategies and funds, and even more are investing without any form of public announcement, according to the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR).

Of the estimated $715bn total impact investing market, corporate impact investors in innovation now manage more than $7.2bn in committed capital, an amount that has been increasing at a 54% compounded annual growth rate since 2016, SSIR added.

In 2020 alone, Amazon, Microsoft, Salesforce, Telus, Citi and Unilever have each announced venture commitments exceeding $100m while Merck and Splunk have added new approaches to impact investing, according to Moses Choi’s guest comment in Global Impact Venturing, GCV’s sister publication, and as a speaker at prior GCV events.

Photo of Claudine Emeott courtesy of LinkedIn.