The Brief | November 21, 2018

Emerging-market shelter in a stock-market storm, sustainable tuna farming in Baja, smallholder ag analytics, Shop for Good Sunday

The team at


Greetings, ImpactAlpha readers!

Big thanks to the hundreds of Agents of Impact who joined The Call yesterday to spot some of that gender alpha, and especially to Catalyst at Large Suzanne Biegel and special guests Luisamaria Ruiz Carlile of Veris Wealth Partners, Sharron McPherson of the Women in Infrastructure Development & Energy Consortium and Enclude’s Laurie Spengler. We’ll have a recap next week.

Speaking of thanks, we’re grateful for all of our blessings, including a brief holiday break. We’ll be back on Monday, Nov. 26 to catch you up on impact investing news. Drop us tips, deals, job changes and feedback to [email protected] (or simply reply to this email).

– David Bank, editor

Featured: ImpactAlpha Original

Hedge in a volatile market: Companies meeting basic needs in emerging markets. This week’s stock market rout has investors looking for assets that don’t move in tune with the FAANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google). For your consideration: Early- and growth-stage companies that provide food, healthcare, energy, housing and other essentials in emerging markets like Mexico, Indonesia and Egypt. “Growing consumer populations continue to consume essentials,” write Will Poole and Dimitrios Lagias of Capria, which invests in emerging market private-equity funds.

In a market brief that charts such consumption through economic crises over the last two decades, Capria found countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America in which the firm has investments were more resilient than the U.S. To be clear, countries and companies reliant on exports or subject to currency risks still are likely to be caught in any downdraft. “You want to be in the domestic-consumption part of emerging markets,” Poole told ImpactAlpha. With investment gurus like Ray Dalio and Mark Mobius warning of an impending financial crisis, “There’s a new interest in, “If that’s going to happen. Where do I go?” Poole says. It’s not yet clear whether this week’s downturn represents the end of the long bull market, but Poole has an alternative. “Here’s a place you as a U.S. investor can find long-term growth prospects that are not correlated to the U.S. market.”

Read, “Hedge in a volatile market: Companies meeting basic needs in emerging markets,” by David Bank and Dennis Price on ImpactAlpha.

Dealflow: Follow the Money

Sustainable Ocean Fund’s first investment is in Kampachi Co.’s sustainable tuna farm. Baja California, Mexico-based Kampachi Company won the Fish 2.0 competition three years ago for its plans to sustainably farm sushi-grade kampachi tuna and sell it as an alternative to overfished bluefin tuna. It’s now the first investment for Althelia Ecosphere’s Sustainable Ocean Fund—the ocean-focused complement to Althelia’s $120 million land conservation and forestry fund (see, “Sustainable Ocean Fund raises $37.5 million for ‘life under water’”). Sustainable Ocean Fund’s undisclosed investment will help Kampachi harvest and market its first stock of tuna in early 2019. Dive in.

CropIn raises $8 million for smallholder farm analytics. The Bangalore-based firm’s software predicts crop yields and risks with satellites, sensors and data from two million small farms. “To feed the 9.7 billion people in the world in 2050, agriculture efficiency must increase by 35% to 70%,” founder Krishna Kumar said. “Technology is the key.” Indian venture capital firm Chiratae Ventures and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation backed the company’s Series B equity round. Dig in.

Dutch development bank FMO adds €20 million to Green for Growth Fund. The Green for Growth Fund backs developers and investors in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Europe and North Africa. Launched in 2009 by the European Investment Bank and German development bank KfW, the fund has made loans to borrowers ranging from a hydro-power developer in Albania to a national bank in Egypt. The latest commitment brings FMO’s total investment in the fund to €60 million ($68 million). Here’s more.

Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent

Put some of that holiday spend toward brands that do good (including ImpactAlpha) on ‘Shop for Good Sunday,’ Nov. 25… Acre in London is hiring an impact investing director… Transform Finance seeks a research and advisory services manager… CO Impact Days is recruiting social ventures to present to more than 400 impact investors… Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business is hosting the Fordham Impact Investment Convening, Dec. 12.

— November 21, 2018.