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Franklin Templeton invests undisclosed sum in blockchain startup Proof of Impact

Yogita Khatri

Franklin Templeton, a global asset management firm with over $700 billion in client assets, has led an undisclosed funding round for blockchain startup Proof of Impact.

Amsterdam-based Proof of Impact announced the news Wednesday, saying that its first institutional investment round also saw participation from Ausum Ventures, Crypto Valley Venture Capital and Pangea Blockchain Fund. 

Founded in 2017, Proof of Impact is building a blockchain-based platform, which would allow impact implementers (NGOs, companies, initiatives etc.) to deliver verifiable impact events at an individual level, and sell them directly to donors and impact investors, per the announcement. 

“All Proof of Impact verified impact events are labeled with the relevant SDG [Sustainable Development Goals] tags. The ultimate goal is to offer liquid impact investment products and investment portfolios supported by blockchain technology to mobilize greater quantities and more diversified capital for proven impact,” said the firm.

On leading the investment round, Roger Bayston, EVP and director of quantitative and fintech strategies at Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, said: “Our client base is increasingly demanding impact returns in addition to the financial returns conventional portfolios offer. It therefore made sense to invest in Proof of Impact for its ability to generate impact content in digital form."

Proof of Impact's platform is expected to get launched in Q1 2020. The fresh capital will help build its platform, as well as help meet its goal of "securitizing proven impact and bringing proven impact investment products to global capital markets."

Franklin Templeton has committed "significant" capital to blockchain technology, said Bayston, as it offers "a very effective future infrastructure for fund management." Indeed, the firm recently announced its plans to tokenize shares of a money market fund on the Stellar network. Last month, Franklin Templeton partnered with crypto wallet provider Curv to secure those tokenized shares.