60 Decibels’ unique impact measurement approach, Lean DataSM, brings speed and customer-centricity to data collection, enabling organizations to grow their business and social impact.

New York, NY, June 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

60 Decibels today announced the completion of its spin out from Acumen. This new company will bring Lean DataSM , its unique approach to impact measurement developed at Acumen, to impact investing and beyond. 60 Decibels aims to accelerate the adoption of Lean Data and set a new standard for how impact is measured by social enterprises, impact investors and the international development sector as a whole.


“When we began to build Lean DataSM, we knew first-hand, from our experience at Acumen, the challenges social enterprises and investors face in gathering meaningful data to guide investment decisions and improve performance,” said Sasha Dichter, 60 Decibels Co-Founder. “Our goal is to reset the impact management conversation. Impact boils down to a person’s lived experience, but no one is talking to customers, suppliers and employees in a systematic, comparable way. As a standalone entity, 60 Decibels will be uniquely positioned to scale the Lean DataSM approach and make this sort of customer-centric impact measurement standard and expected.”


As part of the spin out, 60 Decibels raised $1.7 million in an investment round led by Ceniarth, a family office based in London, with participation by Acumen and four individual investors. The full Acumen Lean DataSM team is transitioning to 60 Decibels. Ceniarth and Acumen will hold board seats in the social enterprises and remain major clients, continuing to use the Lean DataSM approach to inform their impact measurement and investment processes.


“As an impact-first investor willing to make financial trade-offs for deeper impact, we, at Ceniarth, are frequently confronted with nuanced decisions around the specific demographics of the customers that our investees are serving, as well as the long-term effects of various product and service offerings,” said Diane Isenberg, Ceniarth’s Founder and Director. “Lean Data provides us with the practical insights that we need to make evidence-based comparisons and investment decisions. We are proud to support 60 Decibels, not only as a client, but as an investor, as we believe it brings critical transparency to the impact investing sector.”  


Lean DataSM leverages the power of mobile technology to communicate directly with low-income customers and beneficiaries, collecting high-quality impact data efficiently and at a fraction of the time of traditional approaches. In five years, the Lean DataSM team has gathered social impact data from more than 85,000 customers from 33 countries and worked with more than 150 social enterprises and not-for-profits including Acumen, Omidyar Network, Ceniarth, Global Partnerships, CDC Group and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).


The spin out comes at an important stage in the development of the impact investing sector. While the sector has grown to more than $500 billion in assets under management, there is still no commonly accepted approach for what it means to gather and report high-quality impact data. There are also no widely adopted benchmarks for impact, making it difficult for investors and enterprises to assess their impact performance against peers.


60 Decibels’ Lean DataSM approach addresses these issues, putting the voice of the customer at the center of impact measurement in ways that are responsive, fast, and help social businesses better serve their customers and create more impact.


“Acumen created Lean Data to change the way impact is defined and put the voice of the customer back at the heart of impact measurement,” said Jacqueline Novogratz, Acumen Founder and CEO “What started as a tool for Acumen to better understand how our investments serve low-income populations quickly became an exciting new vehicle that has the potential to fundamentally change how we look at social impact. We are excited to share Lean Data with the world through the creation of 60 Decibels and work toward a new global standard for measuring impact that is deeply rooted in listening to voices that have gone unheard for too long.”

“Ultimately we want to help bring investors and social business leaders closer to their customers to make impact management both real and useful,” said Tom Adams, 60 Decibels Co-Founder. “To effectively manage impact, this kind of measurement must be standard rather than surprising. Imagine a time when reliable, comparable measures for impact are as common as those for revenues or internal rates of return. That will be the moment our sector is powered by the sort of information it needs to reach its full potential for creating positive change.”

SM Lean Data is a service mark of 60 Decibels, Inc.




About 60 Decibels

60 Decibels makes it easy to listen to the people who matter most. We are an impact measurement company that helps organizations around the world better understand their customers, suppliers, and beneficiaries. Our proprietary approach, Lean DataSM, brings customer-centricity, speed and responsiveness to impact measurement. 60 Decibels has a network of 120+ trained Lean DataSM researchers in 33 countries who speak directly to customers to understand their lived experience. By combining voice, SMS, and other technologies to collect data remotely with proprietary survey tools, we help clients listen more effectively and benchmark their social performance against their peers.


60 Decibels has offices in London, Nairobi, New York, San Francisco, and Mumbai. To learn more, visit www.60decibels.com.



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