Tmura hits $10M, proves nice companies finish first
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Photo Credit: PR, Screenshot

Tmura’s creation of the altrupreneur has provided startup founders with a means of mentioning the term nonprofit without causing their investors to cringe

Any entrepreneur/startup founder will tell you that to disrupt a market, you have to understand it first.

One group is championing this concept for a new kind of altrupreneur by applying the same logic to the charity and nonprofit sectors. A cursory glance at this group’s track record and one realizes right away that they’re pretty good at it too.

Plenty of nonprofit to go around

Tmura, the Israeli Public Service Venture Fund, announced today that it has broken the $10M mark in funds raised for nonprofit causes, mostly directed toward youth-related charities throughout Israel and exclusively sourced from startup donors. How’d they do it?

The brainchild of Yadin Kaufmann – Founding Partner at Veritas Venture Partners, Tmura offers startups a way to donate to charities and nonprofit causes in a way they can relate to. Specifically, they ask startup founders to gift them equity in their fledgling companies, usually in amounts ranging from 0.5% to 1% of its early stage value.

Tmura turns that equity into a profit by liquidating bequeathed shares after a donor startup completes a successful exit, either by way of private buyout or IPO.

Photo Credit: PR, Screenshot

Photo Credit: PR, Screenshot

Cash free

A recent successful public offering by contributing startup-turned-public-company Borderfree (NASDAQ: BRDR) allowed tmura to break the $10M mark after they liquidated shares valued at $423K.

“Tmura has provided tremendous support for education and youth-related charities in Israel through its partnerships with high-tech companies,” said Shir Segal Shamshtein, GM of Borderfree’s site in Israel.  “Borderfree is honored to be able to support Tmura in its mission to create change and offer opportunities for youth throughout Israel.”

Borderfree is a cross-border ecommerce payment solution that joined Tmura back in 2004 but only IPO’d back in March of this year, so you can see Tmura’s playing the long game (as well as the long shot game) with its strategy.

However, like any successful fund portfolio makeup is key, and when it comes to a fund that invests nothing but operating expenses, quantity is just as valuable as quality in fund makeup, if not more so.

So it’s not surprising that Borderfree is only one of 360 other contributing companies that number among Tmura’s donors. All this equity will eventually go to funding 100+ non-profit organizations, should the donor startups make it out of the rat race with an exit.

Good companies are good at exiting

In this respect, perhaps contributing to Tmura is not all about selfless sacrifice as 53 of its 360 companies have thus far exited and contributed to the total $10M Tmura has earned, with PrimeSense, Somoto, Soluto, and KitLocate being the most recent examples along with Borderfree.

Forget about the moral optics of stacking up an altruist against a strictly-for-profit VC firm: 53 0f 360 is a success ratio that puts most other investment funds to shame on performance alone.

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Avi Schneider

About Avi Schneider


Global editor and writer for Geektime, author of the book 'How To Fight For Your Goals: Social Combat Theory' and the SocialCombatMedia.wordpress blog, founder of Cluboom and former senior writer for Blonde 2.0. Schneider is an orthodox Jew, husband, father, martial artist, writer, speaker - overall Jack of all trades and a master of jack (but working on it).

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