CloudFactory is changing the way the world works
Investments that make a real impact
There are many talented workers in developing countries such as Nepal, but limited opportunities for meaningful employment.
Canadian technologist Mark Sears witnessed this first-hand during a vacation to Nepal in 2008. He fell in love with the country and its people – so much so that he moved his family to Nepal not long afterwards and founded a unique tech startup called CloudFactory.
CloudFactory is an impact investment made by Christian Super, a superannuation fund that invests ethically in line with Christian values. An “impact investment” differs from other types of investments (such as shares and property) in its aim to achieve a positive social or environmental impact, as well as a financial return.
As the name suggests, CloudFactory uses a cloud-based platform to enable companies to outsource tasks to cloud workers in developing countries such as Nepal. Rather than employing a small number of workers with advanced programming degrees to complete one large complex task, CloudFactory uses a virtual assembly line where a greater number of lower skilled workers complete smaller, simpler tasks.
This means that an individual with a computer, an internet connection and basic skills has the potential to become a cloud worker, giving them the opportunity to participate in the kind of work that was previously limited to people with programming degrees.
While CloudFactory employees collectively process over one million tasks each day, the social impact that the company is having in countries such as Nepal is what really gets founder and CEO Mark Sears excited. CloudFactory currently employs over 3,000 cloud workers, mainly in Nepal and Kenya. However their aim is to connect one million people in the developing world with meaningful digital-age work, while raising them up as leaders to address poverty in their own communities. Put simply, they want to change the way the world works.
CloudFactory provides other benefits to their workers other than meaningful employment. In addition to ongoing training and development, workers have the freedom to choose their work hours so they can make time for education, family, and other commitments. Workers are also paid at least two and a half times the local minimum wage, which enables them to provide for their families and pursue other opportunities.
Working for CloudFactory has enabled Prasanna to pursue his passion for photography. After joining the company in 2015, he was able to save up for an entry-level camera and to learn about photography at Stock Photos Nepal. In 2018, he won the Photo Nepal photography contest beating 509 photos submitted by 230 other local photographers. Prasanna’s ongoing work at CloudFactory means that he can continue to save for new photography equipment, to help him achieve his goal of becoming a professional photographer.
Aashutosh also joined CloudFactory in 2015. His wage enabled him to buy a video camera so that he could start pursue his passion of creating video content. Aashutosh’s goal is to become one of Nepal’s top influencers, video creators and entertainers. After starting his own YouTube channel in 2018, he’s well on his way.
The impact that CloudFactory is having in the lives of people like Prasanna and Aashutosh would not be possible without the tens of thousands of Australians who are investing in this business through Christian Super.
Christian Super is a world leader in impact investing – 10% of the funds that they manage are in investments like CloudFactory, that are having a positive social or environmental impact.More