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Impact Signals for Venture Capitalists

Not knowing is a risk. Knowing is an opportunity. That is the business case that pushed Octopus Ventures, a venture capital firm in offices in London and New York, to assess its portfolio of European tech startups for environmental, social and governance, or ESG, performance. Octopus Ventures, part of the U.K. fund management firm Octopus

Investing in social justice

Bryan Stevenson, the public interest lawyer who heads the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala., got a standing ovation at this week’s US-SIF conference. “Linking social justice and finance felt like a very important intersection achieved here,” Enclude’s Jan Piercy reports from Chicago. Stevenson, the author of Just Mercy, told the crowd of social investors, “We

Obvious Ventures is back with another nine-digit fund

The Obvious Ventures team is back with a second fund. OV2 attracted $191,919,191 (and 91 cents?) from a dozen new institutional investors and the same limited partners who backed its $123,456,789 first fund. The venture capital firm, co-founded by Medium and Twitter co-founder, Ev Williams, will follow the same investment themes and “world-positive” strategy as its first fund.

Four lessons from a $50 million bet on tech startups in the Middle East

The International Finance Corp. has invested $50 million in the past three years in startups and funds, such as a $70 million Wamda Capital fund, to promote economic inclusion in the Middle East. The lessons: mixed. “If I get two or three companies out of Wamda, that in my mind is a success,” Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC’s

Agriculture gets another look from investors seeking long-term, inclusive opportunities

Agriculture has been largely left behind as private equity funds have poured into financial services, healthcare and other high-growth sectors in emerging (oops, growth) markets in the last three decade. The obstacles: high risks, uncertain returns and few fund vehicles targeting smallholder farmers, the mainstay of most farm economies. Five fund archetypes from the Initiative for

Can the growth in growth-stage funding bridge a capital gap in Latin America?

If seed funding is hard for Latin American startups building products and services in agriculture, education, health and clean energy, growth funding may be even harder. The average impact investment deal size in the region is below $1 million, according to a 2016 report from Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs. Startups looking to scale, as well

#Peopleflow: Follow the talent

Katherine Collins has been named head of sustainable investing at Putnam Investments, the San Francisco-based money manager with $160 billion in assets. Collins, who was previously CEO of her own sustainable investment research firm, Honeybee Capital, will lead Putnam’s approach to environmental, social and governance investing, including strategies for institutional and retail mutual fund clients. Amy