NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Impact Investor, Ariba
FUNDING AREAS: Impact Investing, Social Enterprise & Entrepreneurship
OVERVIEW: Silicon Valley entrepreneur veterans Karl Kleissner and his wife, Lisa, cofounded KL Felicitas Foundation, which focuses on a variety of support services and tools to help scale impact enterprises and educate and empower impact investors. The foundation makes grants as part of its overall impact investing strategy. The foundation has a strong web presence, but does not accept unsolicited proposals.
BACKGROUND: Born in Austria, Karl "Charly" Kleissner earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Technology, Vienna. Kleissner has held executive and senior engineering management positions at Ariba Inc., RightPoint, NeXT Software Inc., Digital Equipment Corp. and Hewlett-Packard. Kleissner is an impact investor behind such companies as Toniic.
KL FELICITAS FOUNDATION: In 2000, Kleissner and Lisa founded the KL Felicitas Foundation which focuses on impact investing through grants and investments, as well as "information sharing with peers and capacity building programs for investors, entrepreneurs and intermediaries." Grantmaking is only one component of this charity's work, and grants are typically made alongside investment support to early-stage enterprises that "require some subsidy or capacity building assistance in preparation for scaling social impact."
Supporting social entrepreneurship is an important part of the KL Felicitas Foundation's investment portfolio. Apart from investing directly in social enterprises, the charity also "supports organizations and initiatives that build the capacity and business acumen of social entrepreneurs." Current work includes support of Dasra Social-Impact in Mumbai, Global Social Benefit Incubator at University of Santa Clara, and Investment Ready Program in Central and Eastern Europe.
KL Felicitas Foundation has also supported places like Triskeles Foundation, whose mission is to create a "conscious and sustainable world through engaged philanthropy"; MA'O Organic Farms, "a Hawaiian social enterprise growing organic food and young leaders working for a sustainable Hawaii" (Lisa grew up in Hawaii); and Grassroots Business Fund in Washington D.C., which helps businesses in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
The foundation is also interested in advancing its impact investment strategy mission. One of the ways the foundation aims to achieve this is through Toniic and the Toniic Institute, whose mission is to " is to make relevant original knowledge and materials available for impact investors in order to broaden the field of impact investing and deepen understanding amongst impact investors and social entrepreneurs."
In a recent tax year, the foundation gave away around $236,000.
LOOKING FORWARD: Expect Kleissner and Lisa to stay laser-focused on impact investing.