ImpactAlpha Open | July 9, 2024

ImpactAlpha Open: Real estate revitalization in Baltimore + open impact funds in July

Dennis Price

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ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

Greetings, Agents of Impact! Welcome to the latest ImpactAlpha Open, our free weekly newsletter with top news, provocative views and plenty of opportunities to choose in impact investing and sustainable finance. Go daily for less than $1/day

🔌 Plugged In: Rebundle moves Black beauty brands toward sustainability. The hair-products platform Mayvenn set the stage for the growth of Black beauty brands as impact investments (see, “Essence Ventures’ first investment is in Mayvenn’s hair-products platform”). The biases that cause some investors to miss out on such opportunities can become opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors closer to changes in customer demand. To ride the sustainability wave, Rebundle supplies its network of braiders with hair extensions made from repurposed biopolymers, making it a USDA-certified biobased product. On this week’s Plugged In, ImpactAlpha’s Sherrell Dorsey chats with Rebundle’s Ciara May about the brand’s growth, sustainability goals and the environmental impact of conventional beauty products. Join us for Plugged in on LinkedIn, this Wednesday at 9am PT / 12pm ET / 5pm LondonRSVP now.

In this week’s Open:

  • Reclaiming West Baltimore’s rowhouses, block by block
  • July’s Liist of open impact funds
  • SCOTUS delivers policy headwinds
  • Spain’s ‘deep green’ climate tech fund

Ok, let’s jump in. – Dennis Price

Must-reads on ImpactAlpha

  • Baltimore’s real estate revival. In the first in a three-part series, Real RevitalizationImpactAlpha’s Roodgally Senatus provides a visual tour of strategies that are restoring vacant houses in disinvested neighborhoods. Parity is a nonprofit housing developer looking to renovate rundown row houses in West Baltimore and sell them, cheap, to people who share founder Bree Jones’ goal of generating community wealth and recreating thriving neighborhoods. Check it out.
  • July’s Liist of actively raising impact funds. It’s a tale of two markets. Fund managers in emerging markets are going all-in to raise traditional, if impactful, VC funds, despite the still-sluggish venture capital market. Meanwhile, in the US and Canada, fund managers are iterating on traditional approaches to financing for community resilience, ownership and wealth. Collect them all.
  • SCOTUS delivers policy headwinds. Impact investors in the US for several years have been able to crowd in behind aligned public policies, banking on pushes from the federal government to complement the pull of market forces. In a series of rulings last week, the Supreme Court threatened the Biden administration’s climate and social justice agenda just as it has started to deliver results, reports Amy CorteseSee how.
  • Rising political risk for impact, DEI and ESG. Coordinated attacks on ESG and DEI and a looming rollback of climate regulations has elevated “political risk” in the US, report David Bank and Lynnley Browning. At US SIF’s summit, the range of responses included a laser focus on long-term trends and positive results; a plaintive call for that bipartisanship; organizing efforts to build a popular constituency and a sprint to safeguard hard-won gains before they are lost. Read more.
  • Software to tackle the climate reporting requirements. Soon, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to begin disbursements from the $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. With that funding will come a mountain of paperwork. That could be especially burdensome for smaller lenders and projects, which often have an outsized impact. “The time to tackle this challenge is now,” writes Banyan Infrastructure’s Amanda Li in a guest post on ImpactAlphaHear her out.

Agents of Impact

🏃 On the move

  • Opportunity Finance Network announces several new executive vice presidents, including Jessel Amin, formerly of JPMorgan Chase, as chief investment officer; Anthony Berkley, previously with the Future Investment Initiative Institute, as chief development officer; and Kevin Fryatt, previously with the Washington Area Community Investment Fund, as chief operations officer.
  • ImpactAssets adds several new hires, including Benjamin Stephan, formerly with Dalberg Advisors, as investment product manager; Daniel Flores, formerly with Springboard, as a sales operations analyst; Julia Price, previously with Cambridge Associates, as an investment operations associate; and Justin Haskins, previously with the Small Enterprise Assistance Funds, as controller.
  • The McKnight Foundation taps Tamika Gibson as a program and grants associate for its vibrant and equitable communities program.

The Week’s Podcast

🎧 This Week in Impact

Host Brian Walsh takes up ImpactAlpha’s top stories with editor David BankUp this week: the implications of the end-of-term Supreme Court rulings for the business environment for sustainable finance, the political risks for investors in this fall’s US presidential elections and, for a refreshing change of pace, a innovative approach to community homeownership without displacement that a nonprofit developer is rolling out in West Baltimore.

The Week’s Deal Spotlight

Spain’s Seaya inks €300 million for Andromeda climate tech fund. Woman-led Seaya, which manages three investment funds, attracted backing from Spanish energy company Iberdrola, banks Santander, BNP Paribas, Bpifrance, as well as Nortia and Next Tech Fund. Its Andromeda fund for climate technologies aims to invest between €7 million to €40 million ($7.5 million to $43 million) in Series A to C-stage startups supporting the energy transition, decarbonization, sustainable food systems, and the circular economy. The fund is among the first climate tech funds in southern Europe to get Article 9 designation under the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation.

Get in the Game

💼 Step up

  • Blue Orchard Finance is looking for a private equity analyst or associate for a hybrid role in London.
  • Sunwealth seeks a project finance associate for a hybrid role in Cambridge, Mass.
  • Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries is hiring a junior development and sustainability intern in Brussels.

Visit ImpactAlpha’s Career Hub for more hundreds of more impact investing jobs.

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