Aunnie Patton Power, impact advisor and author. Being an investment banker in Chicago as a recent graduate wasn’t working for Patton Power. “I was given a copy of Muhammad Yunus’ book, “Creating a World Without Poverty,” and decided that I was done making rich people richer and helping companies that didn’t care about the world succeed,” she says. She quit her job, sold her things and set off traveling, which landed Patton Power at Unitus Capital in Bangalore, India. Now based in Cape Town, South Africa, she wears many hats in the field. She teaches impact investing to graduate students at Oxford University, the London School of Economics, New York University and the University of Cape Town. She recently published Adventure Finance to explicate creative financing options for founders and investors. And she advises on impact deal structuring and invests herself in early-stage social ventures through Dazzle, a women’s angel network. “My entire career has been focused on financial structuring,” she says. “I believed from early on that how we fund impact matters as much as what we fund.”
The Week’s Big 4
1. How the U.K. and its institutional investors are taking on climate change. Institutional investors in the U.K., which are by nature conservative, are recognizing the risks of climate change and are reducing their fossil fuel exposure. Still, they remain a long way from making substantive long-term investment changes, writes Imogen Rose-Smith in her latest Institutional Impact column. “And we’re running out of time.” Don’t stop here.
The Week’s Dealflow
Spotlight: Impact unicorns in emerging markets. Big markets. Big impact. Big valuations. TPG Rise Climate, which has raised more than $5 billion, along with ADQ, an Abu Dhabi state-owned fund, will invest a combined $1 billion in a new unit of Tata Motors that aims to power up India’s nascent electric car market. The deal values Tata Motors EV at just over $9 billion. Tata plans to launch 10 EV passenger models over five years and, with Tata Power, build out India’s EV charging infrastructure for passenger cars. More.
The Week’s Talent
Ex-Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber and Blue Hill co-founder David Barber join Astanor Ventures as partners… Andrew Zolli, ex- of PopTech, joins Planet as chief impact officer… Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, join sustainable investing platform Ethic as impact partners… Amisha Parekh, ex-of Bloomberg, joins Blackstone as global head of ESG for private equity.
The Week’s Jobs
Mastercard’s Center for Inclusive Growth is hiring a director of impact data science in New York… Global Partnerships is looking for a senior credit officer in Seattle and an investment analyst for its social venture fund in Nairobi… Convergence seeks an associate director of blended finance knowledge in Toronto or Washington, D.C… Prime Coalition is recruiting interns in Cambridge… E Pluribus Unum is looking for a director of philanthropy and strategic partnerships in New Orleans... The Catholic Impact Investing Collaborative is looking for a director of membership and partnerships.
Bryce Roberts and Tim O’Reilly: VCs that help startups raise revenues, not rounds
The team at
New Revivalists is a series from ImpactAlpha and Village Capital profiling the people, places and policies reviving entrepreneurship — and the American Dream.
New Revivalists: Bryce Roberts and Tim O’Reilly, co-founders, Indie.vc. Place: San Francisco Bay Area The approach: “It’s not how fast you grow, but can you grow sustainably. This focus on operating businesses that make early revenue is a really fresh idea in Silicon Valley. But it’s a really old idea in the real world.” Follow: @bryce and @timoreilly
In an age of bloated venture capital funds and startups that are long on valuations and short on profit models, investor Bryce Roberts and media entrepreneur Tim O’Reilly are getting back to basics.
Through an approach they dubbed Indie.vc, Roberts and O’Reilly are surrounding founders with the resources and networks that other VCs offer, but without the baggage and sky-high expectations. The team has backed 16 firms with investments of between $100,000 and $500,000, with a focus on customers, cash flow and sustainability rather than future mega-funding rounds.
The investments are executed through O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (OATV), the pair’s venture capital firm, which is applying the Indie.vc approach in its fourth fund. ImpactAlpha caught up with Roberts and O’Reilly to talk about their unconventional approach to investing in and building companies, and why they burned that unicorn head.