The Brief | September 24, 2018

Fund Day Monday: Raising SDG funds, first closes for Blue Like an Orange, Townhall Ventures and WaterEquity, TPG’s Rise Fund thinks big

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New financial products start to scale investments in Sustainable Development Goals. A few impact fund managers that have taken seriously the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals are raising fresh capital to scale up private investments in healthcare, education, agriculture, energy access and other SDG priorities. Funds aiming to break through the billion-dollar milestone with strategies that directly target SDG progress are a key marker of whether private capital can indeed fill the SDG financing gap. That proposition was set back by the downfall of Abraaj, the $14 billion Dubai-based private equity firm that is being liquidated after a financial scandal. Abraaj and its founder, Arif Naqvi, were highly visible during last year’s UN Week. SDG advocates are searching for new icons of private capital as they convene again in New York starting this week.

Among the contenders: BlueOrange, now known as Blue Like an Orange Sustainable Capital, has reached a first close of $100 million. The mezzanine debt fund targets the financing gap for small and mid-size business lending in Latin America and has ambitions to mobilize more than $1 billion for SDG-aligned investments in sustainable infrastructure, agribusiness, education, healthcare and access to finance. TPG Growth’s Rise Fund, which also claims SDG alignment, says it is raising a second fund of $3 billion, less than a year after closing its first fund at $2 billion. Incofin, the Belgium-based impact fund manager that has already crossed the $1 billion mark in assets under management, is raising an $80 million equity fund dedicated to housing, fintech, food and agri-services in India. Mirova, a unit of Natixis Global Asset Management, has raised the first $120 million of a planned $300 million (down from an original target of $1 billion) Land Degradation Neutrality Fund that targets SDG No. 15, “Life on Land.”

Keep reading, “New financial products start to scale investments in Sustainable Development Goals,” by Dennis Price on ImpactAlpha. See all of ImpactAlpha’s 2030 Finance coverage here.

Dealflow: Follow the Money

TPG Growth moves to raise second Rise Fund, and this time the target is $3 billion. Private equity firm TPG Growth closed its fundraising for the Rise Fund at $2 billion last year. The firm says it already has committed $1.5 billion. Now TPG Growth is planning a second Rise fund; it is reportedly looking to raise $3 billion. Here’s what we know.

Townhall Ventures secures $115 million for health access fund. Townhall Ventures launched in May to spur a “massive and necessary shift” in healthcare for low-income Americans. Led by President Obama’s Medicare and Medicaid chief Andy Slavitt and Oxeon Ventures partners Trevor Price and David Whelan, the first has reached a first close of $115 million. The firm has made eight investments, including three recent deals: affordable home-care provider Landmark Health; health insurance provider Bright Health; and Strive Health, which is working to improve treatment for kidney diseases. Learn more.

WaterEquity’s third fund hits $33 million first close. The subsidiary of Matt Damon’s backs microfinance institutions and water and sanitation-based ventures like micro-utilities, toilet manufacturers and water kiosks to improve access to clean water. WaterEquity reached the milestone for its third fund almost 18 months after its first slug of capital from Bank of America. OPIC injected $20 million last September; the remaining $8 million was committed by Ceniarth, Niagara Bottling, and the Conrad N. Hilton, Skoll, and Osprey foundations. Dive in.

Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent

Marilou van Golstein Brouwers will step down as chair of Triodos Investment Management. Jacco Minnaar, one of the four management board members at Triodos, will become board chair in January… Jean Case in Be Fearless, to be published in January: “make a big bet”, “be bold and take risks”, “make failure matter,” “reach beyond your bubble”, and “let urgency conquer fear.”… B Lab is hiring a director of equity, diversity and inclusion, among other roles.

September 24, 2018.