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Ecotrust Forest: Making the Math Work for Sustainable Timber in the Northwest

Ecotrust Forest Management has gone where most other sustainable timber funds fear to tread: the Pacific Northwest. The Portland-based investment manager has successfully closed a $52 million fund for the purchase and sustainable management of northwest forests with an approach it says can both benefit local communities and the environment and deliver market-rate returns for investors. The

Acelero Learning: Flexible Financing to Give Low-Income Kids a Head Start

When we last left Acelero Learning, the pioneering early childhood education provider was struggling to repay its early impact investors after the company’s Head Start programs generated impressive academic gains but modest returns. A year later, those investors are staying in and Acelero has an additional $30,000 each month to spend on expanding its services

Unitus Impact Invests to Improve Lives of Asian Factory Workers

Workers in Asian factories are rarely the subject of good news. Unitus Impact is trying to change that with investments that go the source of most of the controversy: corporate supply chains. The impact venture capital firm’s Livelihood Impact Fund made two investments in companies that leverage the supplier networks of multinational companies to improve the

Tech Moguls Bet on AltSchool to Transform Education

AltSchool has a big new vision for schools and now it has $100 million to roll it out. The financing comes from Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Andreesen Horowitz, EBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s Omidyar Network and others, another sign of the surge of tech investors into education. Ed-Surge reported that $1.36 billion went into

British Invasion: Bridges Ventures Invests in Springboard Education in America

The U.K.-based private equity impact investment manager Bridges Ventures is investing in Springboard Education in America, its first U.S. deal after opening an office here last year. Bridges, a pioneer impact investor on the U.K. scene, was founded in 2002 and now has more than $800 million under management. Its founding chairman, and current advisory board

Warby Parker Raises $100 Million for Bricks and Mortar Expansion

Neal Blumenthal, CEO of Warby Parker, has long said that calling the designer eyewear company an “e-commerce brand was too narrow a definition.” He demonstrated that this week, raising $100 million to expand the company’s physical locations.  The financing valued the company at a cool $1.2 billion, according to theWall Street Journal. The growth of

Bamboo Finance Raises $31 Million for “Next Generation” Microfinance

Bamboo Finance is doubling down on microfinance. Backed by a decade of experience and an appetite from mainstream investors, the private equity firm specializing in business models that benefit low-income communities announced a first close of $31 million for its Bamboo Financial Inclusion Fund II. The close attracted institutional investors including Teachers Insurance and Annuity