ImpactAlpha Open No. 5: Climate and crypto

ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

Happy Tuesday, Agents of Impact!

🗣️ It’s been a month since we launched ImpactAlpha Open, our free weekly newsletter of careers, connections and capital for Agents of Impact like you.

I’m Dennis PriceImpactAlpha’s chief impact officer. Each week, I round up the best original reporting and expert contributions from ImpactAlpha and curate a selection of market signals and actionable opportunities to keep you ahead of the curve.

Get Open in your inbox every Tuesday by signing up for free at impactalpha.com.

In this week’s Open:

  • Blockchain-based carbon credits;
  • Pandemic bonds;
  • ‘Clean weed’; and 
  • How to decarbonize your house.

Let’s jump in, but first, here’s an offerTake 50% off a full ImpactAlpha subscription to get a daily flow of top impact investing news, dealflow and actionable opportunities. 


Must-reads on ImpactAlpha

  • Climate and crypto. Neobankers (Aspiration) are teaming with biodiversity investors (Cultivo) and crypto technologists (Chia Network) to attract world bankers (International Finance Corp.) and shore up the quality of carbon credits, reports ImpactAlpha’s David Bank
  • Climate and community. As the Inflation Reduction Act becomes law, community investors are well positioned to deliver climate finance to low-income and disadvantaged communities, contend Annie Donovan of Raza Development Fund and Brenda Loya of Amalgamated Bank. (Open)
    • Catalytic capital. Community lenders, for example, are spinning up solutions for accessing the IRA’s “green bank” facility to scale up climate lending programs, as ImpactAlpha’s Amy Cortese reports.
    • Just transition. Advocates are lining up to challenge the “poison pills” in the Inflation Reduction Act, writes David Bank
  • Pandemic bonds. Talented wonks inside philanthropic foundations like Ford, Rockefeller and MacArthur issued social bonds that provided almost $3 billion in fresh capital for communities affected by the pandemic. 
  • Impact in Africa. Dakar-based Teranga Capital does private equity deals, deploys venture capital and helps small businesses. Such category-crossing may be what it takes to build Senegal and the rest of francophone West Africa into a hub of high-impact businesses, reports ImpactAlpha’s Jessica Pothering.

Brought to you by U.S. Impact Investing Alliance

117th Congress Swearing In Floor Proceedings – January 3, 2021, House Chamber

Private capital, public good

Agents of Impact proactively engage the public sector to create an enabling environment for truly impactful business and investment decisions. In partnership with the U.S. Impact Investing AllianceImpactAlpha is lifting up the policy debates and highlighting the opportunities to reshape the rules and incentives for a more inclusive and sustainable economy. 


Agents of Impact

🥕 Charley Cummings, Walden Mutual Bank: Sustainable lending for sustainable food

The founder and former CEO of Walden Local Meat Co. is launching New Hampshire-based Walden Mutual Bank, the first mutual bank in the U.S. to be chartered in five decades. The bank, whose depositors will also be shareholders, will fill an agricultural financing gap amid New England’s resurgence of local, artisanal, often organic farm-to-table producers.

🏃 On the move

  • U.N. special climate envoy Mark Carney, a vice chairman at Brookfield Asset Management, will chair the firm’s asset management arm when it lists on the Toronto and New York exchanges in November.
  • Arabella Advisors appoints Rick Cruz as president and CEO. Cruz had been leading day-to-day operations and strategy at the firm since the transition of its prior CEO, Sampriti Ganguli.
  • Agent of Impact Lucas Turner-Owens, a former fund manager at Boston Ujima Project, has joined TMV as a principal after receiving his MBA from Georgeown. Here’s why he joined TMV.

Deal Spotlight

⚕️ Incredible Health secures $80 million to help nurses do well in permanent jobs

A fifth of health care workers quit their jobs during the pandemic, due to long hours, insufficient pay and burnout. San Francisco-based Incredible Health helps nurses find jobs they love and provides them with the support they need to do well. “Nurses are the backbone of the U.S. healthcare system,” said Incredible co-founder Iman Abuzeid, who was born to Sudanese parents in Saudi Arabia. “They deserve well-staffed teams and tools to not only succeed, but also feel fulfilled in their careers.”

  • Investing in health. Black-led venture fund Base10 Partners. Oakland-based Kaiser Permanente, which oversees nearly 40 hospitals and 65,000 nurses, is one of Incredible Health’s biggest customers. The health care company invested in the Series B round alongside Andreessen Horowitz, the NBA player Andre Iguodala, Workday CEO Chano Fernando, Rethink Impact and others.
  • More on the deal. And check out all of ImpactAlpha’s health tech coverage.

Go daily.

Grab a full ImpactAlpha subscription to get a daily flow of top impact investing news, dealflow, jobs, career moves and other opportunities in our Monday through Friday newsletter, The Brief, and more. Take 50% off – that’s $200 in savings.


Six Signals

💨 ‘Clean weed’ is about to be everywhere in California. Here’s what you need to know. (Los Angeles Times)

🔌 Heat pumps: What they do and why they’re hot now. (The Verge)

🛒 How sustainable are the contents of your shopping cart? A new database has answers. (Quartz)

  • Bonus: How to decarbonize your house with the Inflation Reduction Act incentives. (Fast Company)

⚡ How the electric car Battery Belt is reshaping America’s heartland. (Axios)

👷 The state of human capital disclosureamong America’s 1,000 largest public companies: lagging, according to a new analysis. (Just Capital

⛑️ Forced displacement is at record levels and other trends in this year’s Global Humanitarian Overview. (United Nations)


Get in the Game 

💼 Step up

  • Zeal Capital Partners is recruiting for several roles, including a chief of staff, investment analyst, and vice president of operations in Washington, D.C.
  • Galvanize Climate Solutions is hiring a vice president of science and technology in New York or San Francisco.
  • Families & Workers Fund seeks a program associate and a communications and philanthropy associate.

🤝 Meet up

  • Black Philanthropy Month is hosting “Black giving worlds: A 5,000-year-old legacy for our times,” with CNN political analyst Bakari Sellers in conversation with BPM and WISE Fund’s Jackie Bouvier Copeland, Wednesday, Aug. 24.
  • Tideline is hosting “Systems-Level Investing: What is it, and How Does it Differ From or Reinforce Sustainable and Impact Investing?” with Monique Aiken and Bill Burckart of The Investment Integration Project, Carole Laible of Domini Impact Investments, Brian Minns of University Pension Plan and Tideline’s Ben Thornley, Wednesday, Sept. 7.
  • The Global Steering Group for Impact Investing is hosting “Boosting Capital Flows in Emerging Markets” with guests including Pro Mujer’s Carmen CorreaAnne-Marie Chidzero of FSD Africa and Nick O’Donahoe of British International Investment, Thursday, Sept. 22.

🎬 Take action 

  • For ClimateTech’s Global Innovation Challenge is sourcing early-stage climate tech solutions across three sectors key to reducing global emissions: Future of cities, women in climate tech, and web3 and climate tech.
  • Apply to or nominate someone for The World Around’s Young Climate Prize, which will provide visibility, support and mentorship talented and passionate climate designers.
  • Convergence is accepting applications for its Design Funding program for early-stage blended finance solutions. The organization is hosting Design Funding 101 webinars, Wednesday, Aug. 24 and Thursday, Aug. 25.

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].

See you back here next Tuesday!