Talanton, a US-based VC firm that combats poverty by creating jobs for people in poor countries, leads a $1 million in Africa’s first running shoe company Enda
One of what we love about the tech community is the joy of seeing how startups, venture capital firms, and investors are making a difference in the world and making the world a better place. In June, for example, we wrote about how Israeli tech startup Watergen makes safe drinking water from the air while strengthening ties between the Jewish state and the Arab world.
According to the World Bank, about 9.2% of the world population, or 689 million people, live in extreme poverty on less than $1.90 a day. Even here in the United States, 10.5% of the population, 34 million people, live in poverty as of 2019.
There is a popular saying that goes something like, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” Spending billions on welfare would likely not take people out of poverty. However, poverty comes when people lack the income and dignity that comes from having a good job.
It’s because of this basic truth that Talanton, a private U.S.-based impact investment fund, is investing in values-driven, growth-stage businesses in low-income countries to create jobs and bring Hope to people. Talanton invests between $500K to $5MM in revenue in sectors that provide jobs for those living in poverty. The firm believes that “creating jobs through businesses is the best way to help people lift themselves out of poverty.”
As part of its mission to lift people out of poverty through world-class impact investing, Talanton announced today it has made the decision to invest in Enda after the Kenyan-founded and Kenyan-led business met Talanton’s strict investment requirements and passed rigorous due diligence processes. Based on anticipated achievements of financial, spiritual, and social impacts, Talanton led this $1.1 million Series A funding round to also include several Kenyan angel impact investors.
“We are thrilled about this investment,” said Iris Wen, a partner at Talanton. Enda is perfectly aligned with our mission of investing in companies that create high-quality jobs, especially in places where these jobs have the most impact by creating opportunity and reducing poverty. That they’re able to do this while satisfying customers around the world means they’re poised for growth and making a real difference in the world.”
With this investment, Enda aspires to be a top high-performance running shoe brand by further expanding its product lines and distribution, thus also creating more jobs and achieving positive social and spiritual impacts.
“We’ve been working hard to fulfill orders as thousands of people around the world are discovering our shoes. It is an exciting time for our company,” said Enda co-founder and CEO Navalayo Osembo. This is our moment to invest in further growth and help even more people “Run Kenyan” in 2022.”
Talanton was founded in 2018 by former Red Cross CEO David Simms. The inspiration to start the company came in the spring of 1984 David and his wife Kim were standing in a farm field in Guatemala, where he understood for the first time the power of business to accelerate the Great Commandment to love God and love our neighbor. He has been privileged to spend a significant portion of his life using sustainable, finance-driven solutions to bring Hope, create jobs, and transform lives for people living in poverty, principally in the developing world.
Enda is the first shoe brand proudly made in Kenya. The brand helps you “Run Kenyan” while you give back to the country. The shoes are designed to give you the most from each workout and see your running improve consistently. The bottom line – Enda shoes are built for dancing on any terrain.
Below is how Talanton describes the guiding principles behind the company.
Talanton is the Greek word for “talent ” which was an ancient measurement of weight. Jesus used the term in his Parable of the Talents, a story He told to teach His followers about their responsibility to use their time and resources faithfully. It is a challenge as we all seek to hear “well done, good and faithful servant.”
Below is a video of David Simms announcing the launch of Talanton in 2018.
Below is another video of David’s interview talking about eliminating jobs through job creation.