ImpactAlpha Open No. 2: Impact funds raising capital now

ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

🗣️ Happy Tuesday, Agents of Impact!

It’s Week Two of ImpactAlpha Open, our brand spanking new – and free – weekly newsletter for Agents of Impact. To all of you who signed up over the last week, welcome aboard! We’re thrilled to be able to connect community members with the careers, capital and contacts you’re looking for to optimize your impact. 

Want to get ImpactAlpha Open in your inbox each Tuesday? Sign up for free at ImpactAlpha.com.

This week, we’re rolling out The LIIST, our monthly roundup of impact funds raising capital, right now. And scroll down to read up on the tech makeover at food banks, climate and culture – and how to buy sustainable seafood.

When you’re ready to go deeper, grab 50% off a full-access subscription. With ImpactAlpha’s paid offering, you’ll get The Brief, our daily curated newsletter, along with full access to ImpactAlpha.com and subscriber-only invitations to Agents of Impact calls, events and Slack channels. Let’s jump right in. – Dennis Price

Must-reads on ImpactAlpha

  • Carbon market. The Democratic Republic of the Congo wants to auction off oil-drilling rights in the carbon-critical Congo Basin. Can’t we just pay the DRC to keep its oil in the ground, asks ImpactAlpha’s Jessica Pothering (subscription).
  • EV commodities. How Austin-based EnergyX and its rivals are raising funding in the race for sustainable lithium, reports ImpactAlpha’s Amy Cortese (subscription).
  • Muni impact. ‘The Port’ in Cincinnati is using its quasi-public financing authority to help bring small manufacturers back to the city and transfer single-family homes from private-equity firms to local residents, as Rachel Reilly reports (open).
  • Returns on inclusion. Spring Point Partners’ Margot Kane details how the Philadelphia-based social impact LLC is clearing obstacles for emerging fund managers (subscription).
  • Food tech. A tech makeover of food banks is reducing hunger and food waste, explains ReFED’s Alejandro Enamorado (open).

Agents of Impact

😎 Taj Eldridge of Include Ventures: Putting the cool in climate action

The PhD and climate tech investor doesn’t hug trees. “I hug people,” says Eldridge, who helped build the L.A. Cleantech Incubator before moving to Include Ventures. “We’ve made climate investing cool,” Eldridge told ImpactAlpha. “We’ve made it to where it is just about as cool as being in web3.” Climate change is a public health issue, an economic issue and a social justice issue, Eldridge says. “I’m here to impact them all.”

💥 Impact of Agents

Olu Oyinsan, Oui Capital. “If you’re not building for the mass market, you’re probably not going to be around very long or grow very much,” Oyinsan told ImpactAlpha’s Jessica Pothering in May (subscription). This week the Lagos-based fintech fund raised $11 million to back impact startups across Africa (subscription).

🏃 On the move

  • Sherrell Dorsey, founder and CEO of the essential Black tech publication, The Plug, is the new host of the TED Tech podcast.
  • Agnes Dasewicz, former CEO of Small Enterprise Assistance Funds, is taking her 30 years of experience investing in emerging market entrepreneurs to the U.S. International Development Finance Corp. as chief operating officer.
  • Ibrahim Rasheed, ex- of Closed Loop Partners and an ImpactAlpha contributor on long Covid and disability justice (open), joins Marquette Associates’ sustainable investing group as an ESG research analyst.

Sponsored by J&J Impact Ventures

📈 How to set social impact targets in an uncertain world

Investment managers know that targets are important for evaluating financial performance. Targets have largely eluded the social impact side of the equation. “Setting an ambitious but defensible impact target is imperative both for learning and accountability purposes,” write Sasha Zoueva of Johnson & Johnson Impact Ventures, a fund within the Johnson & Johnson Foundation, and Matt Ripley of The Good Economy.

  • Impact targets. With top-down modeling and bottom-up measurement, J&J Impact Ventures calculates its portfolio’s “cost-per-life-reached.” Zoueva and Ripley share the whatwho and how of target-setting on ImpactAlpha.
  • Read the full post (open).

The LIIST No. 1

💸 Seven impact funds that are raising capital now (August 2022)

For Agents of Impact, helping impact fund managers – and especially first-time, diverse and emerging managers – to spend less time raising money and more time helping companies succeed is another way to accelerate impact. With our partners at Realize ImpactImpactAlpha is presenting The LIIST, a monthly sampling of impact funds and companies that we believe to be in active fundraising mode. Included on The LIIST:

  • rePlant Capital’s evergreen private-debt Soil Fund; 
  • Renew West’s carbon offsets business; 
  • Gigawatt Global’s fund for renewable energy in Africa; 
  • Beneficial Returns’ Reciprocity Fund to supports social enterprises in indigenous communities in Latin America and Southeast Asia; 
  • Denkyem Coop’s community loan fund for Black-owned businesses; 
  • CNote’s Wisdom Fund to support women of color; and 
  • Maya Capital’s early-stage venture capital fund for Brazil and Latin America. 

Go deeper (open).

Deal Spotlight

⚕️ Clinicas de Azucar scores $7.3 million to expand its network of diabetes clinics in Mexico 

“Typically innovations in healthcare increase costs, because they’re looking for better technology,” says Javier Lozano of Clinicas de Azucar, which raised $7.3 million in mezzanine debt from Blue like an Orange Sustainable Capital to expand its network of diabetes clinics in Mexico. “In terms of serving low-income patients, it should be about finding innovations that reduce costs.” 

Six Signals

⚡ Renewable sources accounted for a record 28% of all U.S. electricity in April (USA Today).

🌍 Some 78 climate tech funds are sitting on roughly $20 billion in dry powder to fuel climate innovations (Ctvc.co). 

🌱 Speeding up rock weathering and at least 10 other solutions made the “carbon removal startup wishlist” from Lowercarbon Capital (Lowercarboncapital.com).

👷🏽 The application for B Corp certification for impactful businesses now includes living wage guidance (BCorporation.net).

💰 How Serena Williams chooses companies to invest in (Incafrica.com).

🐟 Local, wild, sustainable: How to make empowered decisions about the seafood we purchase (namanet.org).

Get in the Game 

💼 Step up

  • BlackRock is recruiting a vice president of global impact research in New York.
  • NatureVest is hiring a director of strategy to lead its impact management team.
  • Candide Group seeks a portfolio operations manager.
     

🤝 Meet up

  • Climate and culture! ImpactPHLNEXUS and Impact for Breakfast are hosting a webinar, “Sustainable fashion x impact investing,” featuring Marci Zaroff and Steph Stephenson of ECOfashion Corp, Kimberly McGlonn of Grant Blvd and investor Nina Farran, Tuesday, Aug. 9.
  • Your favorite yogurt company (and refugee advocate) Chobani is convening the World Refugee Forum, Wednesday, Aug. 10.
  • Tune in to learn “Why climate change is an LGBTQ+ issue,” with Adriana Embus of Include Ventures, Aaron Blumenthal of 500 Startups, Alex Mitchel of L.A. Cleantech Incubator and Katherine Woolford of SeaAhead at the StartOut Equity Summit, Thursday, Sept. 15.
     

🎬 Take action 

  • Get smarter! Register for Aunnie Patton Power’s course, “Innovative financing for social impact,” in San Francisco, Wednesday, Aug. 17.
  • Lincoln Institute of Land Policy’s Legacy Cities Community of Practice is accepting applications from local city leaders.
  • Opportunity Finance Network is accepting nominations for the Ned Gramlich Lifetime Achievement Award for Responsible Finance. 

⚡ Get daily access to the full slate of jobs, events and other career opportunities with an all-access subscription to ImpactAlpha:

Don’t be strangers. Connect with us. Tell us who you are and what you’re up to. And share your news, tips, data points, introductions and high-impact ideas, to [email protected].

Till next week!