First Light

United States of America

Last updated 11 May 2020, by Impactyield.

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First Light (FL) is an independent seed fund affiliated with Gray Ghost Ventures and launched in 2008. The fund serves as an incubator and investment partner to seed-stage, for-profit social ventures. FL accelerates the successful development of scalable and sustainable social enterprises that provide goods and services to low-income customers in emerging markets around the world, and help them reach the point where they can receive larger venture funding.

First Light is also an investor partner of Village Capital, in which we pre-commit capital to cohorts of social entrepreneurs gathered by incubators. The entrepreneurs then determine amongst themselves which of their businesses merit FL investment.

Financial description

First Light is designed as an evergreen fund, perpetually reinvesting all profits other social enterprises. We strive for an IRR of 20-30%, understanding the risks involved in seed-stage investing. We measure success by dollars leveraged by our portfolio companies.

14 years

of track record


the year funded

10,000,000 USD


SDG goals

SDG targets

Equal rights to ownership basic services technology and economic resources

Encourage companies to adopt sustainable practices and sustainability reporting

Impact Category

Key performance indicators

Fund overview

Asset manager: Gray Ghost Ventures

Product track record: Fund has 14 years of track record

Target IRR: 15%

Committed Capital: 10,000,000 USD (US Dollar)

Target return category: Risk-adjusted market-rate of return

Fund domicile:

Product status:

Style/Stage: ,

Inception year: 2009

Vintage year: 2009

Target region: ,

Target close date: n.a.

Product term: Evergreen

Assets under management: 10,000,000 USD (US Dollar)

Investment size: Min: 50,000; Max: 200,000; Avg: 100,000

Co-investment policy:

Currency of investments:

Currency for fund / product figures:

Fund investments to date: 17

Fund investments to date exited or repaid: 1

Management fee: n.a.

Carried interest: n.a.

Hurdle rate: n.a.

GIIN Investors' Council Investment: Yes

Limited Partners / Investors: n.a.

Limited Partner / Investor Type: Family Office


E-mail: n.a.


Phone number: 6783654756.00

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Jennifer Fleming

Program Assistant

John Hardman

Investment Manager

Impact Performance


Impact thesis

In its direct investments, First Light seeks to impact the lives of consumers at the base of the economic pyramid by increasing their access to basic goods and services. For each enterprise, we identify one core operational metric that is readily attainable and points to social impact, then roll those numbers up into two headline metrics: Lives Impacted and GHG emissions saved.
More broadly, we aim to attract other funders to seed-stage social enterprises. We closely track the amount of follow-on capital that our companies are able to raise from other funds and angel investors as a measure of our success in leveraging each dollar invested.

Impact Management


Financial benchmark

Term Description:


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