Skip to content

Double Bottom Line (DBL) Partners IV

Type: Aligned Investments

Topic: Clean Transportation, Renewable Energy, Technology

Status: Current

DBL believes financial performance (the first bottom line) and positive social impact (the second bottom line) work in tandem to support companies’ growth and development. Its investments in innovative high-impact, high-growth companies in health care, clean tech, and sustainable products and services deliver top-tier venture capital returns and solve thorny social and economic problems.

investment icon


Committed; originated in 2020

rationale icon


DBL was an early mover in revolutionary companies like Tesla and SolarCity and continues to innovate with investments in companies like Mapbox and Farmers Business Network. Its secret sauce is investing in low-carbon companies that take advantage of market dislocations with industry-changing innovations. DBL is one of the oldest venture capital funds with an explicit focus on ESG and/or impact investing. DBL is betting that companies that are solving sustainability challenges are well positioned to make money.

returns icon


Too early to evaluate; the fund is in the capital deployment stage.

lessons learned icon

Lessons Learned

Women and people of color are substantially underrepresented in the private equity industry. Nancy Pfund, DBL’s founder, and Melissa Ma, of Asia Alternatives, are among the few female heads of a private equity fund in McKnight’s portfolio. Women comprise only 10 percent of senior positions in venture capital and private equity, and 65 percent of venture capital firms have zero female partners. While these iconic investors may be among the first, they must not be among the last.

Photo Credit: Tesla.

Disclaimer of Endorsement: The McKnight Foundation does not endorse or recommend any commercial products, processes, or service providers.

Last updated 10/2021