ImpactAlpha Open | January 10, 2023

ImpactAlpha Open: Inside impact reports + restorative capital

Dennis Price

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ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

Hi there, Agents of Impact!

Welcome to this week’s edition of ImpactAlpha Open, a sampling of the best of ImpactAlpha and other impact investing news and trends.

In this week’s newsletter:

  • Inside impact reports;
  • Electrifying “dollar vans”;
  • Restorative capital for Black wealth; and
  • Inclusive corporate VC.

Ok, let’s get to it. – Dennis Price

Must-reads on ImpactAlpha

  • Impact management. Increased scrutiny from pension funds, universities and other investors, as well as from regulators and politicians, has impact fund managers scrambling to back up their impact claims. BlueMark is out with a new framework for rating impact reports. ImpactAlpha looked under the hood at reports from Veris, Calvert Impact, Atlas Impact, Elevar and Runway.
  • Climate infrastructure. To electrify “dollar vans” in New York’s transit deserts, Brooklyn-based Dollaride brought its network of drivers together with tech and climate startups, impact investors and state agencies, as Roodgally Senatus reports (hear Dollaride’s Su Sanni and Chris Coles on this week’s Impact Briefing podcast).
  • Developing developers. Key to the rollout of climate infrastructure are “entrepreneurs who think like project developers,” Spring Lane Capital’s Nate Lowbeer-Lewis explains in a guest post. Needed: The ability to draft financeable offtake contracts and to navigate permitting pathways. 
  • Policy progress. Last year’s Inflation Reduction Act and other legislation in the U.S. is spurring a surge of investment in renewable energy, batteries and electric vehicles. Energy projects located in “environmental justice” areas get additional investment tax credits of up to 20%, as Amy Cortese reports.
  • ICYMI: January’s Liist of impact funds raising capital, compiled by ImpactAlpha’s Jessica Pothering with our partners at Realize Impact.

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Agents of Impact

💰 Napoleon Wallace, Southern Reconstruction Fund: Restorative capital for Black wealth

Through Activest, Partners in Equity and his latest venture, the Southern Reconstruction Fund, Napoleon Wallace has established a series of innovative approaches for replacing extractive and exploitive structures with inclusive and regenerative models to create wealth for Black families and businesses. Wallace invited ImpactAlpha’s David Bank to visit him in Durham, N.C. to share what he called “some of my more speculative thoughts.”

🏃🏿‍♀️ On the move

  • Singapore appoints Lim Tuang Liang, former chief of science and technology, to the new role of chief sustainability officer, the first such role for a country.
  • Matthew Denn, former lieutenant governor and attorney general of Delaware, joins the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation as managing director.
  • Jed Emerson was promoted to chief impact officer at Alvarium Tiedemann.

Impact Briefing

🎧 On this week’s podcast

Host Monique Aiken and ImpactAlpha’s Roodgally Senatus chat with Su Sanni and Chris Coles of Brooklyn-based Dollaride, which is electrifying the city’s informal “dollar vans” to boost drivers’ livelihoods and cut carbon in New York’s transit deserts.

Deal Spotlight

💸 Following the money in 2023

The year’s slow start to dealflow is no fluke. Despite a year-end flurry, investments in everything from venture capital to sustainable and green bonds were down last year from 2021. Bright spots were climate tech, which last year accounted for one-quarter of all venture capital investments, and investments in Africa, which were actually up in 2022. This year, watch out for “natural capital” investments.

Six Signals

📈 Inclusive corporate VC. Most debut venture capital funds last year raised money from corporations. The corporate trend is helping to support emerging VC firms tackling underrepresented areas. (Global corporate venturing)

👩🏽‍🦱🧑🏼‍🦱👨🏾‍🦲👩🏻‍🦰 Overlooked founders. A list of almost two dozen investors that fund women, Black, Latin and LGBTQ founders. (The Business of Business)

🏢 Diversity in real estate. 15 developers of color just graduated from a new Philly program that aims for equity in real estate. (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

⚖️ Fairness as a service. An AI-powered tool helps financial institutions assess whether their automated decisioning models inadvertently reflect bias. (Fairplay)

💉 Vaccine for honeybees. The US government has approved use of the world’s first vaccine for honeybees, a new weapon against diseases that routinely ravage colonies that are relied upon for food pollination. (The Guardian)

☀️ Heritage and sustainability. Solar panels disguised as ancient Roman tiles or terracotta bricks, adopted by the archaeological park of Pompeii and the Portuguese city of Evora, are turning architectural constraints into assets. (TechXplore)

Get in the Game 

💼 Step up

  • Fifty Years is hiring a recruiter, a synthetic biologist, a storyteller, and a chief of staff.
  • TruFund Financial Services is looking for an impact investment officer in New York.
  • Trimtab Impact is looking for a catalytic capital senior associate.

🤝 Meet up

  • The Green Rural Redevelopment Organization and Eva Clayton Rural Food Institute are hosting the Rural Food Forum, Jan. 12 in Henderson, N.C. 
  • The Ford Foundation Center For Social Justice is hosting a discussion with Anand Giridharadas about his new book, The Persuaders, Tuesday, Jan. 17.
  • Ceres will host its Ceres Global gathering March 22-24 in New York and is accepting applications for registration scholarships.

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