Renowned family business launches $16 million impact fund
6 July 2021 at 4:56 pm
Alberts Impact Capital will support start-ups focused on environmental sustainability; mental health and wellbeing; arts, music and entertainment; and equality
An iconic Australian music company known for supporting artists such as AC/DC and the Easybeats has established its own impact fund, looking to back a new generation of pioneers working to solve society’s most pressing issues.
Alberts is a fifth-generation family business that has helped shape Australia’s entertainment industry, with its music and film production ventures helping launch the careers of countless Australian artists over the years – from John Paul Young to Baz Luhrmann.
Now five years after selling its music label to BMG, the family has launched Alberts Impact Capital, a $16 million fund for early-stage start-ups.
The fund aims to close over 20 investments in the next three years, across four impact themes: environmental sustainability; mental health and wellbeing; arts, music and entertainment; and equality.
Glenn Bartlett, the fund’s head of strategy, said Alberts did not believe in a compromise between positive impact and commercial returns, but rather thought the former drove the latter.
“While unconstrained capitalism has delivered us a better standard of living today it’s on track to deliver quite the opposite tomorrow,” Bartlett said.
“We believe the best way to solve the issues created by capitalism is by backing the new generation of pioneers with positive impact at the heart of their business models.”
Head of impact Emily Albert told Pro Bono News the family did a lot of soul searching after the decision to exit the music industry in 2016, as it tried to work out what to do next.
She said the business had always focused on making an impact by helping create a vibrant music culture, and saw an opportunity to expand this impact by backing pioneers looking to solve society’s most pressing problems.
“We really thought about how we can go from the music business into this next phase. And we saw this as a really great way to stay active and working with pioneers, using the [resources and skills] we have,” Albert said.
“We’ve been in business a long time and have a lot of skills that we can contribute to the start-ups that we’re going to support.
“What we want to do is make all our capital work for a better world.”
The fund has already made a number of investments in local start-ups including online music booking platform Muso and green digital courier service Sendle.
Albert said there were a couple more investments nearing completion at the moment, adding they were meeting with entrepreneurs all the time to find new start-ups to support.
She said that impact metrics would be set up with every investment the fund makes, to ensure that purpose is embedded into the organisation being funded.
These metrics will be used by Alberts to gauge the success of their investments.
“In terms of progress against our impact metrics we really want to see that the businesses are starting to make demonstrable change against the issues they are addressing,” she said.
“Whether that’s reduced carbon, improved wellbeing or something else. Our hypothesis is that as the businesses succeed, their (and our) impact will increase exponentially.”