[YS TV] Conversation With Arun Gore, CEO and President of Gray Ghost Ventures
Gray Ghost Ventures (GGV) was founded in 2003 by Bob Patillo, a serial entrepreneur with a long and successful history in both real estate and microfinance. After selling his real estate company in 2003, Bob turned his focus to impact investment and enterprise development.
Today Gray Ghost Ventures serves as an impact investment firm, providing capital to entrepreneurs who are using market solutions to address low-income and underserved communities throughout the developing world. In 2003, GGV launched Gray Ghost Microfinance Fund, and became one of the pioneers of private investment in microfinance. They soon transitioned to a broader investment approach, using their experience in microfinance to launch the Gray Ghost DOEN Cooperatief, a fund that focused on Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) firms that were addressing the bottom of the pyramid in India. More recently, GGV established The Indian School Finance Company (ISFC), which provides financing to affordable private schools. ISFC is complemented and supported by Gray Matters Capital (GMC), the nonprofit arm of Gray Ghost Ventures.
We recently had the chance to connect with Arun Gore, President and CEO of Gray Ghost Ventures. Prior to joining GGV, Arun worked as an entrepreneur, managing and owning various start-ups, and served as the Chief Financial Officer of Cook Inlet T-Mobile. With a background in telecommunications, finance, and operations, Arun became engaged with the Social Venture Group of GGV in 2006. As a Managing Director, Arun oversaw the development, evaluation, governance and management of GGV’s social venture portfolio.
Having been engaged in impact investing for some time now, Arun has come to notice the trend in development work, particularly speaking to microfinance, of shifting away from helping the individual or family, to helping develop sustainable businesses that can produce impact at scale. Scalability, he said, is the biggest focus when it comes to impact investment. Social-, or as Arun prefers, impact-businesses must be replicable across different geographies and markets. In order for these impact businesses to scale, to produce a real change in the lives of underserved communities, it is almost always necessary to look to capital markets for funding.
In our exclusive YS TV interview with Arun Gore, he outlines some of these trends, notes the challenges in the social space, and gives some personal advice to social entrepreneurs.
Visit GrayGhostVentures.com for more information.