What if we were as conscious about our investing decisions as we are with the food we consume?
What if individuals could connect with good, clean, fair businesses for the betterment of the environment, the enhancement of community, and the chance to “give back” to quality entrepreneurs, all while earning market returns?
Impact Investing for Individuals & Small Family Offices
Have you ever wished you could be part of an energetic local business, helping them succeed, building community, and earning market returns at the same time?
That’s why we started AFI. We wanted to be “impact investors” in for-profit businesses, on a local scale, but found no organization, process, or infrastructure to do that. We wanted to invest in food and agriculture – throughout the food value chain – because sustainable agriculture is so much healthier for the planet and the products that use it are so much healthier for our families.
Along the way we started to think about business, and about fundraising, a little differently.
We developed “The AFI Way“, a set of principles and tools addressing a new way of thinking about the purpose of business, what “impact”, and “impact investing” means, how to fund a business without super-fast growth or a unicorn exit, how “milestone-based funding” increases the chance of success, how combining various types and sources of funding into a “custom capital stack” creates optionality, and how neighbors funding neighbors builds community.
We built processes, and software, and relationships, and cool entrepreneurs came to us, and we helped them, and funded them.
Would you care to join us?
The AFI Investor Network
Benefits of Membership in the AFI Investor Network
- Deal flow
- Personalized investment financial statements
- Subscription to “Sustainable Food Investor” private newsletter
- Interaction with local sustainable food entrepreneurs
- Deal Lead and Due Diligence training
- Discounted tickets to AFI hosted events
We see new deals constantly.
We’ll share company info on every application we get, via our monthly “Sustainable Food Investor” newsletter. You can review deal flow, let us know which companies pique your interest.
If the deal proceeds, we’ll either lead it internally, or seek one of our Investor Network Members to take point. We offer training & assistance if you’d like to learn to become a Deal Lead, directly assisting an entrepreneur or assisting AFI’s point person on that deal.
Some of those new applications will fall out of the process, typically because they don’t meet AFI’s Qualification standards. You’re free to contact companies directly that have fallen out of the process. We ask that you work through us for deals still in our process.
When we get a critical mass of companies (3-5) ready to talk to investors we’ll host a get together, kind of like a private pitchfest. They’ll pitch, we’ll all ask questions. Rather than being regularly scheduled, these happen when they need to.
AFI and our transactional vendor FundAmerica provide online systems for easy, secure, and well documented closings.
AFI also provides “servicing” for deals that entail ongoing cash payments to investors.
By the way, AFI believes in market rate returns. We believe triple-bottom-line and sustainable businesses can and should be cash positive enough to enable both positive social outcomes and solid investor returns.
That said, deals will differ, as will actuals vs. pro-formas, but you already know that…
Since 2014, AFI’s owners have self-funded all expenses while not charging companies or investors. While great for launching a new venture with as little friction as possible, this approach is not financially sustainable.
Beginning in February 2017, AFI will initiate several revenue streams:
- Nominal fees for companies to get initial feedback
- Consulting fees for companies seeking in-depth assistance
- Annual dues for investors wishing to be part of the AFI Investor Network
- Interest rate “spread” on debt deals led by AFI
- “Carry” on equity deals led by AFI
- Pursuit of government and foundation grants
2017 Annual Dues
- “Funder” Level: for current members in the AFI Investor Network who participated in at least one deal in 2015 or 2016: $500.
- “Member Level: for new members in the AFI Investor Network, or current members who have not yet participated in a deal. $1,000.
Interest Rate Spread
- For debt deals with a fixed interest rate, or royalty deals with a multiple, we plan to create a small difference between what the borrower pays and what is paid to investor. That “spread” will go toward AFI operating expenses.
- For equity deals that use a Special Purpose Vehicle, we plan to charge a traditional “carry”.