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Vaccine finance, church funds for off-grid solar, venture debt for Indian startups, NY’s…

Greetings, ImpactAlpha readers! #Featured: ImpactAlpha Original Ramping up global health investments to fight diseases of low-income countries. After a rocky start, the $108 million Global Health Investment Fund has made its 10th investment, leading a $10 million financing for Vienna-based Themis Bioscience. Themis has made good progress on a vaccine for the chikungunya virus — a mosquito-borne

SuperMeat raises $3 million for petri-dish poultry

The Israeli startup has a process for growing meat in a lab. The cellular agriculture technology is part of a growing “alternative protein” market aimed at producing healthier and more sustainable products to meet the world’s demand for food. SuperMeat’s seed round was backed by European poultry producer PHW and New Crop Capital and Stray Dog Capital,

State Bank of India backs small-business lender Lendingkart

The Ahmedabad-based company helps unbanked business owners in India get access to loans and lines of credit. Since 2014, it has provided short-term loans to 12,000 small businesses, but demand is exponentially greater, Inc24 reports. The latest backing from the government-run State Bank of India will be used to extend Lendingkart’s reach to 950 cities, up from

Impact Tech: Year in Review. Big challenges, falling costs, solutions at scale

Greetings, ImpactAlpha readers! Year in Review: Impact Tech Tech’s new new thing: positive impact. Let others track the bitcoin bubble. ImpactAlpha is mining for blockchain solutions for migrants and refugees. While they obsess over Big Tech’s election #fail, we’re tracking investments in civic tech that boost engagement and participation. At ImpactAlpha, we’re telling the next tech

Beyond Meat takes a hearty helping of growth capital

Investors have a growing appetite for “alternative proteins” as a healthier, more environmentally sustainable food source. The California-based Beyond Meat, known for its plant burgers, raised $55 million from former McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson’s Cleveland Avenue, a food-and-beverage venture firm, with backing from poultry giant Tyson Foods’ venture fund. The funding comes after Beyond Meat’s deal to

TortgaAgTech raises $2.4 million for strawberry-picking robots

Grain harvesting is already mechanized, but delicate specialty crops like nuts, fruits, and vegetables are still mostly picked by hand, often under harsh and exploitative labor conditions. Working conditions in indoor farms are more stable and predictable than outdoor farms. That also makes them riper for automation, which can cut energy and water consumption. Now