Dow Jones: Student-Led Social Venture Fund Invests in Loveland Technologies

September 23, 2014

(c) 2014 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

The Zell Lurie Institute at the University of Michigan said its Social Venture Fund has participated in a Series AA investment in Loveland Technologies, a crowdfunding and social mapping system company.

The Social Venture Fund was part of a syndicate of investors in the round, which included the Skillman Foundation. The amount of the round wasn’t disclosed in a news release.

Loveland, based in Detroit and San Francisco, aggregates and analyzes public information about property and makes it accessible to the public through an online platform and supporting apps, such as mapping tools.

The company’s Blexting mobile app, for example, powered an attempt to catalog the condition of every piece of property in the city of Detroit, with the hope of removing abandoned houses and salvaging lots as a highly visible step toward a broader recovery.

The Social Venture Fund, a student-led fund, makes early-stage investments of up to $100,000 in sustainable and innovative for-profit organizations that deliver financial returns and place significant social impact at the heart of their mission, the fund said.

The fund is managed by a team of approximately 30 M.B.A. students, many of whom are pursing dual degrees with education, environment, health, law and public policy, along with faculty adviser Uday Rajan, a professor of finance at Michigan’s Ross School of Business. It focuses its investments in four key areas: education, food systems and environment, health and urban revitalization.