Leonardo DiCaprio Loves the Wild, and the oceans

This is not a question in The Brief Quiz (though no guarantees it won’t show up next week): Which leading actor is investing his time and treasure in a provider of cook-at-home “seafood kits” sourced from sustainable fish farms? “The exploitation of our oceans has left many marine ecosystems on the brink of total collapse,” said

Samunnati raises $4.5 million to extend small ag finance in India

Chennai-based agriculture finance company Samunnati raised $4.5 million from Accel Partners, Elevar Equity and others. The company provides credit, loans, and other financial products to small and micro-agribusinesses, which have difficulty accessing services from banks. Samunnati looks at “cash flow patterns, seasonality and the nature of collateral in [agriculture] supply chains” and other nontraditional risk indicators.

Fledge’s Africa Eats fund makes first three investments

The Fledge accelerator, based in Seattle, is raising and managing a family of funds to support graduates of the program. Africa Eats provided a $200,000, four-year loan to East Africa Fruit, a Tanzanian produce aggregator. It extended $170,000 to Geossy, a Ugandan aquaculture venture, in the form of a blended fixed-rate loan. And Tanzanian poultry venture

Village Capital aims to rethink skills training to match job needs

Village Capital is focusing on workforce readiness in its next entrepreneur cohort. “The mismatch between jobs and skills in the United States can be staggering,” writes Vilcap’s Ebony Pope. Nearly all employers are unhappy with applicants and new hires, while nearly half of American workers say they’re underemployed and three out of four aren’t using their

For sustainable impact, think zebras, not unicorns

Startup unicorns worth more than $1 billion may capture the imagination, but zebras are for real. Startup founders Mara Zepeda and Jenn Brandel say zebras are a better metaphor for companies that build cohesiveness and fill needs in society; that strive for quality, creation, sustainability, and shared prosperity. Like their namesake, Zebra companies are black and

Elon Musk may be on the hook for battery power in Australia

Climate Finance A remarkable deal played out on Twitter in real-time yesterday as the Tesla chief promised to deliver 100-megawatts of battery power-storage in 100 days to relieve blackouts in South Australia — or write off the approximately $66 million cost. Musk doesn’t yet have the deal, but the offer raised the question of whether such agreements could

Behavior change is hard when it comes to wasted food

“Clean your plate — people are starving” never did work all that well in getting kids to finish their dinner. And so the U.S. throws away $161 billion in food each year. The U.K. throws away $9 billion in food each year. Global food waste contributes to almost $1 trillion in economic losses annually. U.N. Sustainable Development