Dealflow: Ecosystem Investment Partners’ fourth fund, Verlinvest’s stake in Tony’s, ADB Ventures, SuperMoney, European social impact bond fund

The team at

ImpactAlpha

Greetings! Here’s the latest impact investing deal news.

Ecosystem Investment Partners closes fourth conservation fund at $455 million. The private equity firm has been helping investors profit off of ecological restoration and conservation projects since 2007. Ecosystem Investment Partners establishes “mitigation banks” that finance wetlands restoration and build credits that public and private developers can buy to offset environmental damages from their projects (see, “How Private Capital is Restoring U.S. Wetlands”). Such mitigation trades damage in one place with a greater amount of restoration somewhere else. EIP has raised nearly $1 billion in funds that have grown from $181 million to $303 million and now $454 million. Investors include public pension funds, family offices and foundations.

  • Landscape scale. EIP targets wetlands and stream restoration projects costing $10 million to $50 million. It ensures permanent protection through conservation easements and deed restrictions. EIP has invested in 44 projects in 12 states covering 44,000 acres of wetlands and 176 linear miles of streams, including a 110-mile expanse across five counties in West Virginia. Restoration of 18 miles of waterways that feed into Chesapeake Bay will reduce harmful nitrogen and phosphorus flows.
  • Conservation demand. EIP claims mitigation bank transactions have increased 20-fold in 25 years (see, “The surprising leader in the $36 billion global market for ‘payments for ecosystem services’”).
  • Dive in.

Belgian family acquires stake in Tony’s Chocolonely. Verlinvest, the investment firm of the Spoelberch family that is behind the beer group AB Inbevacquired an undisclosed stake in the ethically-sourced Dutch chocolate company. Verlinvest is not an impact investor, however its food and beverage investments, typically €30 million to €150 million, follow health-focused consumer trends. The firm is an investor in alternative-milk company Oatly and previously backed healthy snacks company Popchips and Dutch natural foods grocer Marqt.

Asian Development Bank puts up $50 million initiative for early-stage impact tech. ADB Ventures is looking to de-risk Asia’s social tech startups with a flexible 17-year fund (compared to a standard 10-year fund) and a $12 million technical assistance facility. It has early backing from the Nordic Development Fund, Climate Investment Funds, and the Australian government.

SuperMoney raises early funding to provide financial services to India’s gig workers. The Mumbai-based fintech provides credit, savings and insurance products for gig and blue collar workers under-served by traditional banks. Unitus Ventures backed the company’s $1 million round.

BNP Paribas and European Investment Fund launch €10 million social impact bond fund. The BNP Paribas European Social Impact Bond Fund will invest in new pay-for-success initiatives in Europe. Three projects in France have been rolled into the fund, including an agricultural education program and initiatives aimed at keeping children out of the foster system.

–Feb. 10, 2020