U.S. Treasury channels $8 billion to help CDFIs and MDIs boost small business lending. Community development financial institutions and minority depository institutions played a vital role getting aid to small businesses in low-income, rural and communities of color during the Covid pandemic. While traditional banks focused on clients and larger businesses, many CDFIs heroically mobilized to process Paycheck Protection Program loans for thousands of small businesses outside of traditional banking channels (for context, see, “Innovative CDFIs scale up to help underserved communities move from relief to recovery“). CDFI lending has skewed toward real estate financing, but new funding from the U.S. Treasury Department aims to help the community banks continue lending to low- and moderate-income consumers and underserved small businesses in the U.S., “providing an opportunity to underserved communities across the country to regain their footing following the pandemic and strengthening their resilience against future shocks,” said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
Dealflow: Investing in Health
Town Hall Ventures raises $350 million to improve healthcare delivery to underserved communities. Underserved communities face disparities in health outcomes, life expectancy and deaths. “Our country has an opportunity to transform the lives of people who have been poorly served by the healthcare system,” said New York-based Town Hall’s Andy Slavitt, who headed the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services during the Obama administration. Slavitt, with David Whelan and Trevor Price, launched Town Hall in 2018 to invest in companies improving healthcare services and addressing the social determinants of health for underserved Americans. The fund is seeking to build “enduring and impactful companies that drive measurable improvements in health outcomes, especially for those who have been poorly served by the status quo,” said Whelan. The raise brings Town Hall’s total assets under management to over $1 billion. Town Hall Ventures’ first two funds raised $115 million and $275 million.
Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent
Leroy Barber, co-founder of Voices Project, joins Neighborhood Economics as an executive director… Ari David, ex- of AUA Private Equity, and Manasi Desai, ex- of KKR, join Ara Partners as vice presidents… John Holl, ex- of ACT Commodities, joins Clear Sky Advisers as president of North American carbon and environmental trading… Beneficial State Bank is hiring a chief impact officer.
Ginkgo Bioworks acquires “microbial engineering” company Novogy
ImpactAlpha, December 16 – Novogy is developing sustainable varieties of fats and oils from oleaginous yeasts. The microbes are promising sources of biofuel and less resource-intensive to produce than oilseed crops.
Boston-based biotech Ginkgo Bioworks, whose research spans food-based alternative proteins to COVID-19 testing, acquired the startup, along with its intellectual property and much of its team.
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