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  • Writer's pictureYannick Oswald

Driving Change beyond Tech

Updated: Nov 1, 2020

We celebrated our firm's 20th anniversary back in March this year. Now, we are celebrating the Mangrove foundation's 10th anniversary. Driving top tier returns in venture over 20 years is hard. Building on top an organization that is driving change beyond tech is even more challenging. I am proud to be part of an organization that achieved both.

It has been 10 years already since we decided that it is time to give back and establish Mangrove as a corporate giver. Back then, the mission was and still is, to act for the planet’s survival by selecting and supporting worthy causes we feel strong about. Our aim is to leverage our collective strength to drive human impact. Since then, much has happened:

Since day 1, we have applied to impact investing the same approach, which made our firm successful in venture investing. Whatever we do needs to apply best practices and drive real returns. Our former venture team member Hugo is at the helm of our foundation and does a fantastic job. He co-manages 10 different projects worldwide, of which 4 have already been completed successfully. To do so, we measure our impact periodically and produce semi-annual reports together with our partner NGOs. We also assess our action against the UN Sustainable Development Goals. More on this here.

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Last week I was in Paris to spend some valuable in-person time with some of our entrepreneurs. I also had the chance to meet many new ambitious founders. I am just blown away by how they are navigating the current economic and social environment to find unique new opportunities everywhere. The good weather is definitely still on, and hopefully here to stay some more days.

Life is awesome,


Other content I have found useful.

- Amazing Walkme! For the 5th year in a row, our portfolio company is named to the Forbes Cloud100, the list of the top 100 private cloud companies.

- Two of our entrepreneurs, Allon Bloch of K Health and Ami Gal of SQream, have been selected to the list of the 10 most influential Israelis in the US...

- Have a look at this Twitter thread by Semil. He put together an excellent summary of the management approach of Frank Slootman, one of the most successful tech CEOs of all time (Snowflake, ServiceNow, Data Domain)

- A great post by David on how to build not only a product, but also a brand and movement. The starting point of any great company is, of course, an awesome product. But the best startups most often turn into some type of movement. A brand that people relate to and want to support. This is hard to do, but David gives 13 tips on how to get there: 'The best founders talk eloquently about their mission and the change they want to make in the world. They speak about something larger than dollars and cents. They articulate a vision of the future that attracts adherents.'

- Alexandre compiled the pricing of 50 B2C SaaS apps. Have a look here. These benchmarks complement my previous post where I mention the annual plan discounts of some subscription-based mobile apps.

- Here an interesting Tweet by Ben on what makes a great VC. There is 'no one size fits all' for becoming a great venture investor. To all aspiring VCs, my single most important advice is to learn from, and work with the best. VC is an apprenticeship business that takes time. The ability to build conviction, when nobody else does, is the hardest part. And it takes experience, knowledge, and many hard learnings. Make sure you realize this, and most importantly, enjoy the journey. It is the best job in the world, in my opinion.


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