Working Capital, an early stage venture fund that invests in innovative solutions to create ethical supply chains, has raised a total of 25.2 million dollars, with its latest round of 2.5m received from Zalandao and Children’s Investment Fund (CIFF).
"As leaders in their respective industries, both CIFF and Zalando will bring a unique perspective and further strengthen Working Capital's partnership structure," said Ed Marcum, Working Capital managing director, in a press release. "The support of each of our partners signals an increased understanding that capital must be allocated to help develop efforts to enable companies to perform well while also protecting vulnerable workers.”
Established in 2002 and headquartered in London, CIFF is dedicated to transforming the lives of children and adolescents in developing countries. CIFF is joining the fund to further its commitment to solve problems, such as child labor, by enabling urgent transformational change.
CIFF CEO Kate Hampton said: "There is an urgent need to clean up opaque global supply chains that enable forced labor and human trafficking. Worldwide, 152 million children are victims of child labor, almost half of them working in hazardous conditions. CIFF is proud to partner with the Working Capital Fund innovative solutions for making supply chains more transparent, ethical and viable."
Zalando aims to be a leading sustainable fashion platform by 2020
At the same time, Zalando, Europe's leading online fashion platform, joined the fund in alignment with its purpose to enable supply chain transparency and capacity building. The Berlin-based fashion aims to be one of Europe's leading sustainable fashion platforms by 2020. Earlier this year it launched a program called zIMPACT that brings together the many stakeholders in the supply chain, offering visibility, funding, and expertise to industry players that use digital technology to increase supply chain transparency.
Since its launch earlier this year, Working Capital has invested in companies that leverage technology to bring visibility and accountability to supply chains and increased agency for workers. Its portfolio includes companies such as Provenance, a blockchain platform enabling traceability and Sundar, an ethical sourcing platform that is transforming the fashion supply chain.
For more information go to www.workingcapitalfund.com.
Photo credit: C&A Foundation, source C&A Foundation website