Seeing and Raising Mark Zuckerberg’s Big Bet on ‘Global Community’

Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and acknowledge that Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg took a big swing with last week’s 5,700-word post, “Building Global Community.” Hell, in the current environment, simply coming out in favor of global approaches to urgent challenges counts as a courageous move. “When we began, this idea was not

Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial adds Philippines to expanding mobile money portfolio

Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial has added Philippines to its expanding mobile money portfolio. The Chinese fintech giant is taking a substantial minority interest in Mynt, the mobile payments platform of Global Telecom, a major mobile operator in the Philippines. It’s the latest deal in Ant’s ambitious rollup of stakes in mobile money and other fintech

Rwanda’s Kigali Farms secures AgDevCo loan to support mushroom farmers.

Rwanda’s Kigali Farms has secured a loan from AgDevCo to support mushroom farmers. The agribusiness sells mushroom growing kits to more than 1,700 smallholder farmers and buys back some of the harvest at a guaranteed price. The $450,000 loan from the UK-government-backed AgDevCo will help the company meet strong mushroom demand from retailers, hotels and

AXA readies public equities fund to tap gender-diversity “dividend”

Women Rising We reported in Feb. 21 on the global growth market in women’s equality. Now comes AXA Investment Managers with the AXA World Funds Mix IN Perspectives fund, which will invest in companies committed to gender diversity at all levels. As of last June, 15 public-market equity and debt solutions explicitly deployed a gender lens,

Bridges Ventures’ largest growth fund yet will invest in U.K. health, education and energy companies

Bridges Ventures, the London private equity firm, plans to raise £150 million ($187 million) for its fourth “sustainable growth fund,” according to Financial News. Bridges will invest between £2 million and £20 million in small and medium-sized businesses. Since 2002, Bridges, which also manages real estate and other social impact funds, including the Bridges U.S.

Solar is hot, but some industry sectors are hotter than others

Climate Finance The 28 solar startup deals in the fourth quarter of 2016 represented a two-year high, driven by declining prices and national pledges to renewable power. CB Insights identified at least four distinct buckets of deals. Among installers of solar panels, PosiGen in Louisiana raised $20 million. Solar cell manufacturer Heliatek, based in Germany, raised

Food giants start to act like VCs to find healthy-food startups

Recognizing the shift in consumer eating habits, food titans like General Mills and Kellogg are launching venture capital funds to invest in startups focused on healthier, less-processed food. Last month, Kellogg’s Eighteen94 Capital invested $4.2 million in healthy snack producer Kuli Kuli (see “Taking an Impact Food Venture to the Crowd”). General Mills’ fund, 301