UNICEF Venture Fund
Flexible funding and networks for innovators on the ground
Entrepreneurs in UNICEF programme countries often lack access to flexible funding and the global networks to connect to other problem solvers, mentors and platforms to grow their solutions quickly.
The Venture Fund collaborates with innovators on the ground in UNICEF programme countries to build and test new solutions at the pace required to keep up with the rapidly evolving challenges facing children.
The Venture Fund was launched by UNICEF in 2016 – a US$17.9 million investment fund – applying lessons learned over 8+ years, undertaking the complex work of helping to identify and grow innovations for children. The UNICEF Venture Fund makes $50–100K early stage investments in technologies for children developed by UNICEF country offices or companies in UNICEF programme countries. By providing flexible funding to early-stage innovators, it allows UNICEF to quickly assess, fund and grow open-source technology solutions that show potential to positively impact the lives of vulnerable children. 3
The Objective is to identify and pilot promising frontier technologies to develop scalable platforms that UNICEF can use in a range of applications and country settings. The fund seeks to achieve this by identifying clusters or portfolios of initiatives around emerging technology - so that UNICEF can shape markets, learn from and provoke these technology sectors to benefit children. Such an investment method allows UNICEF to take small risks within particular technology portfolios, and ensure that even if many of the investments fail, the portfolio is a success.
The Portfolio currently includes 72 investments, including 33 to startup companies in countries where UNICEF is active. The Fund aims to grow its portfolio by 30 investments every year. In 2018, the Fund selected cohorts of companies working on data science and artificial intelligence, blockchain and XR. These cohorts are working on similar underlying technology stacks and are collaborating across individual products to build platforms that can more easily be brought to scale. The Venture Fund collaborates with other investors, donors and partners to co-invest and facilitate pathways to growth and scale.
Exploring the Potential of Blockchain for Good
6 emerging market blockchain startups will receive up to $100,000 to develop an open source prototype.
Shaping Emerging Technologies to Benefit All
Become part of a growing portfolio of open source solutions that close gaps
Open Source Tech to Save Lives
Meet the twisted child of the world of development and the world of venture capital
Accelerating Tech for Social Good
UNICEF is launching a Venture Fund for Open-Source Civic Technology
UNICEF Invests in South African Startup
Amply is one of several digital tech innovations looking into new ways to achieve healthy, sustainable development
Calls for application
UNICEF Innovation Fund Call for Data Science & A.I
Looking for data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence or similar technology solutions
UNICEF Funding Opportunity: Drone Startups
Beyond Seed Investment, startups can use our drone corridor.
UNICEF Innovation Fund Tech Cohorts
Accessibility and Inclusion
Ensuring children’s voices can be heard from any part of the world
UNICEF's Accessibility Portfolio: Spotlight on AAC
Solutions that leverage frontier technologies to address inequities faced by people with disabilities
UNICEF Innovation Fund announces largest investment round
Thirteen new startups added to the 2019 investment portfolio