2030 Finance | August 18, 2016

#Dealflow 8.17.16: Mosaic’s big raise, a ‘smart city’ in Virginia and new financing for PowerPlant, Zoona, Galvanize and Scripbox

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The big #Dealflow news of the month is the $220 million in equity financing raised by California-based solar financing company Mosaic. The financing, led by Warburg Pincus and supported by Core Innovation Capital and Obvious Ventures, “provides an open runway for growth,” said Billy Parish, Mosaic’s founder and CEO. Mosaic provides financing for residential rooftop solar installations via companies selling home solar products. It partners with more than 250 solar companies which collectively represent more than 85 percent of the U.S. home solar installation market. Warburg managing partner Arjun Thimmaya, called Mosaic “the country’stop solar lending platform.”

Smart city. Private equity firm 22 Capital Partners attracted new backers to its $500 million smart-city pilot project in metro Washington, D.C. The George Washington University and the Center for Innovative Technology have joined Microsoft in the experiment in smart-city design. Locally-based Crescent Ridge Capital Partners is also a partner on the project. 22 Capital is staging a 2.5 million square-foot development called the Gramercy District, in northern Virginia along the District’s planned metro-rail expansion line. The private equity firm is calling the project a “smart-city in a box,” which is intended to be a high-tech, easily replicable urban development plan. The Gramercy District is 22 Capital’s first foray into real estate development.

Veggie growth. Venture capital firm Powerplant Ventures raised $42 million for its first debt fund since launching last year. The Los Angeles-based firm’s investment thesis is focused on early and growth-stage vegetarian-friendly food and beverage companies. That segment of the food and beverage industry grew an estimated 60 percent between 2011 and 2015. Powerplant Ventures was founded by three entrepreneurs in the plant-based food market: Mark Rampolla (founder of ZICO Coconut Water) and Kevin Boylan and T.K. Pillan (co-founders of casual dining chain, Veggie Grill). Dan Beldy, former managing director of Disney’s venture capital arm, is also a founder.

Series B raises

African fintech. Zoona closed a $15 million series b round led by the International Finance Corporation in a round that included second investments from Accion and Quona Capital, the Omidyar Network and the Lundin Foundation. South African VC firm, 4Di Capital, and former Google chief financial officer, Patrick Pichette, also participated. “As the world economies transit from cash-based to cashless, an entire infrastructure is needed to make that transition possible and ensure equal availability of both ‘currencies’, said Andi Dervishi, Global Head of IFC’s Fintech Investment Group. Zoona uses technology to provide financial services to disconnected communities. It will use the funds to expand to 10 markets and 30 million consumers across Africa by 2020.

Tech training. Galvanize raised a $45 million Series B round led by ABS Capital Partners and backed by Colorado Impact Fund, Haystack Partners, University Ventures and others. Galvanize works with large tech firms like Amazon, IBM and Tesla to provide skills training the companies need in web development, data science, and engineering. These firms then become hiring partners for Galvanize’s students. Since its launch in 2012, Colorado-based Galvanize has opened nine campuses across in cities across the U.S. West Coast and Southwest and plans to launch in New York in early 2017. In 2014, it raised an $18 million in a Series A round led by University Ventures.

Indian investors. Omidyar Network led a Series B investment round for Bangalore-based investment services firm Scripbox to encourage savings and investment options for India’s growing middle-class. Scripbox is a free online mutual-fund investment platform that expands and simplifies retail investing for first time investors. Its platform includes eight pre-selected mutual fund investment options and includes earning estimation tools and teaches users are tax reporting. Since its launch in 2012, the platform has spread to 370 Indian cities; its customer base has grown 10-fold in the last 18 months. Last year, Scripbox raised $2.5 million in a Series A round led by Accel Partners in 2015. Accel also participated in the Series B round.

More #Dealflow

Community clinics. Capital Impact Partners and the California Endowment have partnered on a $20 million loan fund to improve healthcare access for low-income and uninsured patients in California. The fund will offer below market-rate construction, working capital and equipment purchasing loans of up to $6 million for community clinics and health centers.

Hep tests. Sydney, Aus.-based Atomo Diagnostics raised AUS$4.5 million ($3.5 million) in equity from the Gates Foundation-backed Global Health Investment Fund and other investors. Atomo is a rapid-diagnostics venture focusing on HIV and malaria; it plans to expand its one-step diagnostic kits to also test for hepatitis C. Atomo received a AUS$7.8 million loan from the GHIF earlier this year and an AUS$1.8 million grant from the New South Wales Medical Device Fund. With the latest round, Curt LaBelle, managing partner at GHIF, will join Atomo’s board.

Microfinance. Symbiotics Group issued local-currency bonds to capitalize three microfinance institutions in India and Sri Lanka: a $9 million bond and a $3.5 million bond for India-based Fusion Microfinance and Saija Finance respectively, and a $7.5 million bond for Sri Lanka-based LOLC Micro Credit. Fusion Microfinance is the largest of the three institutions, with a $100 million loan portfolio spread across roughly 500,000 borrowers. The other two lenders have issued $20 to $50 million in small loans. Switzerland-based Symbiotics backs close to 200 financial institutions lending to the base of the pyramid in 56 countries. The bond buyers for its latest bonds have not been named.

Renewable power. BlackRock’s Renewable Income Europe fund closed after raising €650 million ($733 million) — €150 million for than its target. The fund, which will invest in multi-million euro solar and wind projects in western Europe, was backed by 25 institutional investors from Europe and Asia. BlackRock Real Assets, which manages the fund, announced a first close of €248 million in February. Roughly a quarter of the total funds raised have already been committed across nine projects in the U.K. and Ireland.

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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].

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