The Brief’s Big Nine: Data-driven, unlocking value, low-carbon banking, economic imperatives

Greetings, ImpactAlpha readers! Many investors claim to be data-driven. Except when it comes to impact. Neither limited partners nor anybody else would let fund managers get away with saying they don’t measure the financial performance of their portfolio companies. So why do LPs give venture capitalists a pass on measuring social impact? “We have to

True Wealth Ventures closes women-focused fund

The Austin-based investment firm raised $19.1 million, which it will use to back women-led health tech ventures and sustainable consumer brands. The founders cite high performance of women-run startups, lack of VC funding for women entrepreneurs and women’s overwhelming influence in consumer purchasing and healthcare decision making as reasons for launching the fund. (We know of

Omnivore raises $46 million in second fund for Indian agriculture

Omnivore invests in early-stage Indian agriculture and food startups with the goal of boosting the profitability and sustainability of smallholder farmers. The fund also seeks to reduce uncertainty for India’s more than 100 million small farmers by building markets that more efficiently buy and sell to them, Omnivore’s co-founder Mark Kahn, tells ImpactAlpha. Omnivore’s

Rise of the Rest adds first nine portfolio companies — and more big name investors

Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest fund now counts Michael Bloomberg, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and former White House chief technology officer Megan Smith among its roster of investors. The $150 million fund’s first nine investments include startups in Indianapolis, Columbus and Pikeville, Kentucky, among other places. The fund isn’t a lead investor in any

Overheard at The Economist’s New York impact investing event

Headliners at the magazine’s second annual gathering seemed to find their voice in rebutting stubborn assumptions. ‘Can investors revive the American Dream?’ and other weighty questions of the day Pigeonly founder Frederick Hutson was asked why his startup helping families communicate with inmates was an “impact” company and not just good capitalism. “I don’t look

Will demographics, automation and inequality mean the end of the middle class?

By 2030, the familiar categories of low-, middle- and upper-income in the US may be obsolete. Instead, according to a new report from Bain & Company, an affluent 20% may separate itself from the remaining 80%, who will earn less than what would be considered a middle-class income. The report calls the coming decades-long period

Low-carbon banking, creative impact, Virginia is for Entrepreneurs, overheard at The Economist

Greetings, ImpactAlpha readers! #Featured: ImpactAlpha original Casting an eye on how banks are — and are not — financing the low-carbon transition. The biggest banks in Europe, North America and Asia are in a global race to finance the historic transition to a low-carbon economy. You don’t believe it? True, a new report by Boston Common Asset Management criticized