Katapult breeds two Impact Unicorns in one week
Esusu and Betterfly’s unicorn journey from our pre-seed investment and acceleration to a 1B USD valuation took less than 4 years. Both represent solid proof that impact is no trade-off for profit. Furthermore, both highly value the help they received from Katapult – the “unicorn factory.”
Katapult first discovered and invested in Betterfly at the early Seed stage in mid-2019 with further investment via their follow-on fund in mid-2020. With Betterfly already reaching Unicorn status and $1 billion post-money valuation, this represents Katapult delivering globally leading, unrealised value for our investors.
Founded by Tharald Nustad in 2017, Katapult’s second unicorn within one week, represents a resounding validation of Nustad’s theory that the largest opportunity for profit derives from early stage investment in companies addressing the greatest problems facing our society.
Speaking of Betterfly’s $1 billion dollar valuation, Nustad says, “A huge congratulations is in order for the whole Betterfly team. Not only does their success speak to their ingenuity but it serves as further proof that the Katapult formula pays dividends. Alongside Esusu, Betterfly acts as a case study for the opportunities presented by pure impact investment. As the first Norwegian investor company to specialize in investments in global impact companies, we were met with much skepticism. With a double victory unquestionably proving our model is profitable, we are motivated to show what we can further achieve.”
Founded in 2018 by Chileans, Eduardo and Cristóbal della Maggiora, Betterfly has created a platform that rewards healthy habits with charitable donations and life insurance protection that grows at no cost based on lifestyle choices that foster physical, mental, and financial wellbeing.
As alumnus of Katapult’s 2018 Accelerator Program, Betterfly were guided by Katapult’s world-class network of content providers and mentors. Speaking of Betterfly’s Katapult Accelerator experience, former Betterfly CPO, David Alvo says, I’ve experienced incubation and acceleration programs all around the world and Katapult is, without a doubt, the accelerator with better outcomes for entrepreneurs. We were going at 100kms/hour and now we are at 250kms/hour with a motor that works better and a chassis that resists more. I feel honored to be a Katapult Alumni, committed to helping, and excited to see what’s coming.” Testament to the positive experience of the program, Alva has since become a Katapult mentor himself.
Katapult’s Betterfly success comes swiftly off the back of fellow Katapult Portfolio Company, Esusu’s$1 billion valuation. Founded by Samir Goel and Abbey Wemimo, Esusu was born from the need to disrupt the US credit rating system. As immigrants to the US themselves, Samir and Abbey struggled to obtain the necessary credit score to gain access to banking services. Esusu revolutionises this process by offering a platform that allows users to obtain a credit score outside of the traditional pathways, providing a powerful tool to bridge the racial wealth gap.
Esusu’s Goel credits both Katapult’s investments and quality of accelerator program as key ingredients in Esusu’s rapid growth: “Katapult has played a transformative role in our startup journey. The experience helped us improve our sales process, enter new markets, and think critically about our product road map. Without Katapult, Esusu would never have been where it is today.”
With two unicorns in short succession, Nustad is confident about Katapult’s path moving forwards: “In backing diverse founders with a fierce focus on addressing society’s most pressing issues, Katapult has simultaneously developed a playbook for delivering investor returns and contributing to building a better society and planet. While we have seen the promise of this model since Katapult’s inception, its fruition is highly rewarding and I am very optimistic for the potential of further unicorns in Katapult’s existing and future portfolio companies.”
We are now planning our next seed-and growth funds, with a focus on Climate, Ocean and Food-tech.
If you are a startup looking to follow in the footsteps of Esusu and Betterfly, apply for funding and to join one of our upcoming accelerator programs, here.
If you are an investor, get in touch.