Emerging impact fund managers tap ‘community rounds’ to overcome fundraising barriers. A new, more democratic approach to fundraising is putting wind in the sails of new impact fund managers. “Community-led investing rounds have the potential to enable true ‘impact alpha,’ with new solutions to old problems,” writes Havell Rodrigues of New Majority Capital, which is fundraising on the crowdfunding site Wefunder. Community rounds, an updated term for “equity crowdfunding,” help turn customers into investors. New, emerging and diverse fund managers are using the method to overcome barriers like lack of an investment track record or operating capital to get off the ground. “Community-driven investing offers a way to elevate the best ideas,” writes Rodrigues, and lets new fund managers “tap into their network and community of stakeholders to creatively contribute to the solutions.”
Dealflow: Inclusive Fintech
Nigeria’s TeamApt scores backing from QED for digital banking in rural Africa. The Lagos-based fintech venture is tackling financial access by enabling anyone with a mobile phone and point-of-sales machine to become a local bank branch. TeamApt has created more than 160,000 jobs and provided working capital, business expansion loans and business management tools to more than 400,000 micro and small businesses in Nigeria. U.S.-based fintech investor QED Ventures backed TeamApt, its first investment in Africa, from a new $1 billion fund. The size of the investment was not disclosed.
Signals: Policy Corner
From permitting to pipelines, mobilization for climate justice targets ‘poison pills’ in the Inflation Reduction Act. As part of his deal to support the sweeping climate legislation just passed by the U.S. Congress, Senator Joe Manchin secured an agreement to get a vote on separate legislation to speed permitting of energy projects, including oil and gas infrastructure. “Permitting reform” is considered essential to one of Manchin’s pet projects: the 300-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline, which is intended to carry fracked natural gas from West Virginia to Virginia. Such support for fossil fuels means environmental and climate-justice advocates will follow up celebrations of the bill’s signing this week with campaigns to forestall or undo provisions that harm local communities or broader climate goals. “While we understand high stakes deal-making, we reject compromises that continue to put fossil fuel development at the center of our nation's economy,” wrote nearly three dozen members of the Green Leadership Trust to President Joe Biden. The network’s members are Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other people of color serving on the boards of environmental and climate finance organizations.
Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent
Eric Van Nostrand, former managing director and head of research for sustainable investments at BlackRock, will join the U.S. Treasury Department as a senior adviser on economic issues tied to Russia and Ukraine… Mark Carney, vice chairman at Brookfield and U.N. special climate envoy, will be promoted to chair the firm’s asset management arm when it lists on the Toronto and New York exchanges in November.
Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Impact Ventures, which supports ImpactAlpha’s Investing in Health coverage. In partnership with J&J Impact Ventures, ImpactAlpha is exploring the …