ImpactAlpha Open | October 18, 2022

ImpactAlpha Open: “Climate never felt this dope.”

Dennis Price

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ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

Hi there, Agents of Impact! 

Welcome to this week’s ImpactAlpha OpenImpactAlpha’s David BankZuleyma Bebell and are at SOCAP this week in San Francisco. Say hi! And find Amy Cortese and Jessica Pothering at the GenderSmart Investing Summit in London.

In this week’s newsletter:

  • Acumen’s patient returns;
  • Klean Energy Kulture puts swagger in climate;
  • Cashing in on green home-improvement credits; and
  • An uptick in impact M&A.

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Ok, let’s get to it. – Dennis Price

Must-reads on ImpactAlpha

  • Impact in public markets. As impact investing surpasses $1.1 trillion in assets under management, the Global Impact Investing Network has set its sights on driving impact through the more than $100 trillion in listed public equities, report ImpactAlpha’s Amy Cortese and Jessica Pothering from the GIIN Investor Forum in The Hague.
  • Patagonia’s private impact. Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard’s deep distrust of public markets contributed to his decision to “exit to stakeholders.” That highlights a weakness in impact investing, writes contributing editor Imogen Rose-Smith in her latest Institutional Impact column. (Open)
  • Lessons in patient capital. Acumen, one of the earliest impact funds, is out and proud about its negative 9% returns because of the outsized impact it has had on nearly 150 million people living below the international poverty line, I reported this week. 
  • Investee to investor. Common Future’s Rodney Foxworth, now with some assets to invest, is looking to shift power in impact investing, including by taking a stake in SOCAP, the original social capital markets event that is reconvening next week in San Francisco, reports Amy Cortese.
  • Climate and culture. Hip-hop producer Corey Dennard – aka Mr. Hanky – Michael Hawthorne and Taj Eldridge came out swinging last week with Klean Energy Kulture, their bid to put some swagger into the climate movement, I reported. Their tagline: “Clean energy never felt this dope.” (Open)

Stay ahead of the curve – take 50% off

⚡ ImpactAlpha makes visible where capital is flowing. Impact dealmaking is hot and getting hotter. ImpactAlpha has covered more than 1,000 deals in our daily briefs over the last year, representing tens of billions of dollars in assets across industries, asset classes and geographies.

Agents of Impact

🤝 John Holdsclaw IV, Rochdale Capital: Advancing co-ops and community ownership

In earlier finance roles, John Holdsclaw was drawn to high-mission deals that didn’t fly at a regulated bank, such as a black-owned grocery store in a food desert in Waterloo, Iowa and a community-led initiative to purchase and redevelop a mall in downtown Los Angeles. At Rochdale Capital, Holdsclaw will have the flexibility to do small but high-impact deals that would not pass muster at a bank.

🏃🏿‍♀️ On the move

  • Melissa Berman, President and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, is stepping down after two decades at the helm. Berman will remain in the role until the RPA board identifies a successor.
  • Caleb Ballou, ex- of JPMorgan Chase & Co., has founded Trimtab Impact, an “unapologetically impact-first fund of funds,” with support from MacArthur Foundation, The ImPact and Blue Haven Initiative.
  • Ashton Rosin, former head of investor relations at Obvious Ventures, joins Lowercarbon Capital as a partner and head of capital formation.

Impact Briefing (podcast)

🎧 On this week’s podcast

Host Brian Walsh talks with Acumen’s Daniel Waldron about the nonprofit impact investor’s two decades of deploying “patient capital” in companies serving some of the world’s poorest customers. Plus, the headlines.

Deal Spotlight

🔗 Impact M&A

The year has seen an uptick in impact mergers and acquisitions, including Mirova’s purchase of SunFunder to expand clean energy in emerging markets, and M&G’s acquisition of responsAbility to meet demand for climate finance in developing countries.

  • New York-based private equity firm Warburg Pincus last week took control of Indian micro-enterprise lender Vistaar Finance.
  • MyPower, an affiliate of Mitsui & Co., acquired Cambridge, Mass.-based clean energy provider Solstice to expand community solar access for U.S. households. 
  • And Common Future, which this week took a stake in SOCAP, last month acquired Community Credit Lab to advance community wealth-building. 
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Six Signals

 📉 Capital preservation. As inflation persists, RSF Social Finance is decreasing interest rates. Yes, you read that correctly. (RSF Social Finance)

🗺️ Mapping impact. Resources for visualizing social impact data (including the ImpactAlpha-hosted ​​Climate Finance Tracker. (ImpactMapper)

👩🏽‍🦱🧑🏼‍🦱👨🏾‍🦲👩🏻‍ Returns on inclusion. More than 30 funds focused on under-represented founders. (Outset Capital)

👷🏾‍♀️ EV onshoring. In the wake of the Inflation Reduction Act, companies are finally investing in making EVs in the US. Here’s a running list. (Protocol)

💰 Efficiency gains. How to cash in on billions in green home-improvement tax credits and rebates. (Forbes)

Return on renewables. Wind, solar payback times under a year in some parts of the world. (PV Magazine)

Get in the Game 

💼 Step up

  • Azolla Ventures is hiring a partner, a principal and an investment analyst.
  • The London School of Economics seeks a program lead for its impact accelerator in London.
  • Spring Point Partners is recruiting an associate director of impact investments remotely in Philadelphia.

🤝 Meet up

  • S&P Global is hosting “Beyond ESG on the road to COP27,” Wednesday, Oct. 19.
  • VC Include invites asset allocators interested in impact investing and diversity, equity, and inclusion to its virtual fellowship showcase of emerging fund managers, Tuesday, Nov. 1st (for context, see “VC Include to accelerate investments into a dozen diverse first-time fund managers”).
  • Mission Investors Exchange’s national conference convenes in person Dec. 5-7 in Baltimore, featuring Judy Belk of The California Wellness Foundation, Don Chen of the Surdna Foundation and others. MIE members can register here

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