Ethereum’s 2000x improvement paves the way for Web3 impact companies

Small Steps Vol. 53: Impact futures for Web3 after Ethereum’s upgrade Ξ ; Kapor’s $125m raise to empower people🧑🏿‍🤝‍🧑🏿; and $2b in new funding for carbon sequestration 🌱.
April 28, 2022
Giant Leap

“Courage gives us a voice and compassion gives us an ear. Without both, there is no opportunity for empathy and connection.”

— Brené Brown, Research professor, lecturer, author

Kick start

🛫 Web3 has huge impact potential but it’s historically been an impact no-no due to its insanely high energy profile. In one example, if you used an Ethereum-based application to buy a carbon offset for your flight from Sydney to Melbourne in 2021, the energy consumption of the transaction would be more than the total emissions of your flight. Crazy.

🍏 Thankfully, change is afoot, and a new upgrade to the Ethereum platform is set to slash its energy consumption by 99.95%, a whopping 2000x improvement. This unlocks a whole new world of impact startups, including applications in carbon accounting, financial inclusion, supply chain transparency and civic engagement.

🪙 Check out Giant Leap’s first “Impact Futures” deep dive on the topic of Web3 and its unlocked impact potential here 👇.

Read Giant Leap's deep dive on Web3

What we’re thinking about

💸 The digital money dilemma. In the brave new world of digital banks and Dogecoins, we’re a long way from using beads and stones for money. This reflection from Professor Eswar Prasad highlights both edges of the sword. On one hand, digital financial infrastructure has huge potential to address social inequities, enabling unbanked populations to access financial services and immigrants sending cash home to avoid transaction fees that can eat up to 6% of their earnings. On the other, the rise of decentralised cryptocurrencies disempowers governments to mitigate the boom and bust cycles of their economies, a risk that is especially pronounced for smaller countries.

👩🏽‍💻 Kapor kapow. US-based impact VC, Kapor Capital is raising a $125m fund to continue investing into startups solving problems of access for underrepresented populations, including financial, career, and education access. With top-quartile returns, they’ve been a role model for addressing social inequity with scalable startups, backing companies like TomoCredit, which helps underserved millennials access credit products using alternative datasets, and Daylight, a neobank designed by and for the LGBTQ+ community. To boot, 59% of their portfolio companies have at least one founder identifying as a woman or underrepresented person of colour.

🌾 Sequestration generation. Climate Tech VC has tracked $2b of investment into the carbon sequestration space in just the last few weeks, with the majority flowing into direct CO2-e removal businesses and carbon accounting software that enables these businesses to access markets. The largest of the deals was Climateworks, who raised $650m to continue pioneering direct air capture technology after launching the world’s largest air capture plant last year. Closer to home, Kiwi startup CarbonCrop raised $1.7m to enable regenerative farmers storing carbon in soil to access global credit markets.

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New paths

🧾 Are you interested in working for an impact business? Fill in this expression of interest form and we’ll put you in a database of impact-interested people that is shared exclusively with our portfolio companies.

👗 GlamCorner is on the lookout for a Performance Marketing Specialist

🧠 Seer is seeking an Executive Assistant

👩‍⚕️Coviu is on the hunt for an Account Executive

🧻 Who Gives A Crap is searching for Issues & Compliance Specialists

🔥 Also, check out our Giant Leap Fund jobs board for over 100+ available positions. There’s even more jobs at ethical companies on the global B-Work job board.

Giant leaps

🏆 Coviu and Seer claimed strong places in Deloitte’s Fast 50.

👗 GlamCorner launched RELOOP - an online marketplace to buy & sell pre-loved premium fashion.

📜 HEX is re-launching its global education program, Endeavour Singapore, after a two-year hiatus in international travel and study programs.

🧵 Evrnu generated a lot of global media buzz for the launch of its NuCycl r-lyocell material, a recycled material that could replace up to 90% of all textiles.

For the road

📞 Communication is the most valued workplace skill. Applied examined over 10,000 job ads from 260 companies and found that communication was the most sought after skill, followed by organisational skills. CEO, Khyati Sundaram, also says that most employers are shifting to a skills-based approach rather than experience-based approach hiring, meaning you should expect more skill assessments in the application process and less experience requirements in job ads.

🎓 Applications for the Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP) are now open! They offer equity-free funding for pre-product startups with a social or environmental impact woven into their business. Application form here.

😷 How do we tackle future pandemics? Leading experts, Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty and Professor Wendy Stone will examine the scientific, social and economic implications of COVID-19 and share their pandemic resilience roadmap in an online Conversation event, Planning for Future Pandemics, tonight (Thursday 28th April). Folio are offering free tickets to the first 10 Small Steps readers that use the code SMALLSTEPS

🪴 Have a spare 15 minutes? StartUp Genome is surveying founders for its latest study on the Australian startup ecosystem. The data is invaluable in helping create programs that directly target and assist growing businesses.

🥼 In a major medical breakthrough, scientists have unveiled the first ‘gapless’ human genome. Earlier maps held gaps for unidentified genes. Scientists say the map is essentially the starting line for research and cures for genetics-based diseases, cancer, and ageing.

🪓 Patagonia is taking control of its supply chain. The sustainability focused retailer will be axing all discounts for its Australian wholesale partners unless they prove they are working to reduce supply chain emissions. They are also offering bigger discounts to partners who achieve carbon neutrality, become a registered B Corp, or sign on for the 1% for the Planet Pledge.

🦊 Our cities are accidental wildlife havens. A new book environmental historian at the University of California Peter Alagona details the process in which animals adapted to human environments and thrived in them. It advocates for a change towards how we perceive rats, bears, foxes and other urban wildlife, asking readers to consider that the cities are now as much their home as it is ours.

👟Dress like dad. Coming of age in style

Further Reading

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