Introducing the Innovating Justice Fund.
The Innovating Justice Fund is a first-of-its-kind fund that provides funding and support to early-stage companies in emerging markets that are working to solve justice challenges. The fund is focused on SDG 16, which aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
Startups are constantly developing new products and services that can help to improve access to justice for people in emerging markets. However, these startups often lack the capital and technical assistance they need to succeed. That’s why HiiL and FOUNT came together to launch the Innovating Justice Fund and an accompanying Scaling Programme to accelerate Justice-tech startups and scale their impact.
Justice-tech startups are companies that leverage technology to improve various aspects of the legal and justice systems. These startups typically focus on addressing inefficiencies, increasing access to justice, and enhancing transparency within legal and justice processes.
A Billion People in Need of Justice
Each year, more than 1 billion people face a serious justice problem. Up to 55% of these problems remain unresolved or are resolved in a way that is felt as unfair. The demand for justice is huge.
The problems citizens face include difficulties accessing legal aid and representation, family disputes like divorce and inheritance issues, land and property rights disputes, challenges within the criminal justice system, consumer rights violations, employment-related conflicts, and housing problems like eviction and substandard living conditions.
Our current justice system is unable to deliver equal access to justice for all. This lack of justice causes huge suffering, erodes social cohesion, entrenches and exacerbates inequalities, and disrupts economic development. Beyond SDG 16, justice-tech startups by solving these problems, impact reduced inequalities, economic growth, gender equality, and lastly industry innovation & infrastructure.
A Decade of Accelerating Justice-Tech Startups
After a decade of accelerating justice-tech startups, HiiL to this day has accelerated +170 justice-tech startups and trained 500 entrepreneurs in emerging countries. HiiL noted that approximately 10% of these startups achieved significant scalability and therefore initiated the Innovating Justice Fund to demonstrate the viability of investing in Justice-tech.
The Fund is established as a Dutch limited partnership (CV) with a blended capital structure. The demonstration phase will deploy EUR 2 million, and the ambition is to grow to a capital size of EUR 10 million after. We are currently deploying our first investments and fundraising in parallel.
About HiiL and Fount:
HiiL, the initiator, brings unique and in-depth justice sector expertise and stakeholder networks from the many years it has run people-centred justice programmes across Africa and The Middle East combining data, innovation and transformation. As a result, HiiL has extensive experience working with justice-tech startups through its annual startup programmes: from ideation to incubation, acceleration and scaling.
FOUNT is the Fund Manager and provides extensive investment and fund management expertise (>10 years) in impact funds in developing countries. Fount has a rich network in the impact investment sector with numerous partners and investors providing potential for co-, follow-up financing and exits for the Fund.