Lumina Foundation is an Indianapolis based organization. It has been giving money in the form of grants to organizations that supported its mission. This mission is to increase the number of adults having postsecondary education. However, the foundation has also made forays in the world of venture capital in the last one year or so. It has been pumping a lot of its $1.2 billion money into More market.
What this means is that Lumina Foundation, which was liberally giving away grants to other organizations till now, is now involved in making investments for earning profits. Though the money has been pumped into education tech start ups only, it clearly signifies the change in approach of the foundation. While they can still claim to be using the money for causes that support their mission, this money will now earn attractive rate of return for the foundation in the form of stocks of these companies.
Lumina Foundation is not defensive and certainly not trying to hide behind any venture capital firm. It has established its own venture capital arm for the purpose. This division of Lumina has been aptly titled Lumina Impact Ventures. It was founded in March 2016. In a time period of more than a year, Lumina Impact Ventures has invested money to the tune of $3.5 million. So excited is the management of Lumina Foundation with the initial results of this venture capital Endeavour that it is planning to invest $5 million every year for the next 10 years. This means there are plans afoot to invest some $50 million in venture capital over a period of a decade.
Lumina is not alone in a line of foundations using their funds to park in venture capital. The officials of Lumina Foundation are happy. They feel that by foraying into venture capital, they will be better able to achieve their objectives.