Institutional investors are seeing the potential in the kinds of products and services that will be key to a more sustainable future. That’s the theme of this week’s #Dealflow, which features investments by Singapore-based sovereign wealth fund Temasek (in lab-grown “vegan leather,” no less) and Canadian insurance co-operative The Co-Operators in a healthy food and agriculture fund.
And tech investors like TechStars are getting into the impact market as well, with an investment in a tech-based platform to enhance transparency in corporate supply chains.
That’s not to downplay the continuing importance of impact investing pioneers such as Omidyar Network (which seems to feature in nearly every #Dealflow), Serious Change and the Calvert Foundation. But the #Dealflow makes clear the impact tent is getting bigger.
This week’s #Dealflow:
Bio-Leather. Modern Meadow, the “vegan leather” start-up, closed a $40 million Series B round, with backing from Singapore-based sovereign wealth fund Temasek. The New York-based company designs and creates lab-grown collagen that can be processed into leather. Its process reportedly creates a stronger product than natural leather and reduces waste by up to 80 percent. The Series B financing will be used to grow staff and commence small-scale production. Other investors included ARTIS Ventures, Breakout Ventures, Red Swan Ventures, Collaborative Fund and Coller Capital.
Food and agriculture. Canadian financial and insurance co-operative The Co-operators, which has more than $40 billion under management, has made an undisclosed commitment to InvestEco Capital’s second sustainable food fund. The fund invests in growth-stage ventures in North America that focus on sustainable and healthy food and agriculture. The Co-operators is backing of Toronto-based InvestEco Capital as part of its growing impact investing initiative.
SME Finance. Small-business lender IntelleGrow has hit a $20 million financing milestone. The Mumbai-based financial company was launched in 2012 by Intellecap Capital Advisory to support seed and early-stage businesses with annual revenues of less than 500 million rupees ($8 million). Its mission is backed by debt and equity capital from a pool of impact and development finance investors including Omidyar Network, the Shell Foundation, Developing World Markets, Triodos Investment Management, the Calvert Foundation and OPIC. IntelleGrow has issued more than 350 billion rupees in loans to 100 businesses.
Responsible supply chains. Supply chain platform ConnXus has closed $5 million in Series A funding, with Techstars Ventures, Serious Change and Impact America Fund leading the round. The tech-based platform was launched in 2010 to promote transparency and encourage diversity among company supply chains by consolidating information available in women-, veteran-, and minority-focused supplier databases. ConnXus includes diversity classifications for more than 1.7 million suppliers. The new financing will be used to continue growing the platform.
Green energy. Mirova, a sustainable investing subsidiary of Natixis Asset Management, has raised €350 million ($387 million) for its third renewable energy fund, surpassing its €200 million target. Mirova-Eurofideme 3 backs wind, solar and hydraulic infrastructure development projects in Europe. So far, it has invested €100 million through eight transactions. The European Investment Bank committed €40 million to the raise.
DealFlow is ImpactAlpha’s weekly roundup of what, where, how and why impact capital flowed each week… See more impact deals in ImpactAlpha’s DealFlow section. And send your deal news to [email protected].
Photo credit: Modern Meadow