calvert-foundation | April 7, 2016

ImpactAlpha’s #DealFlow 4.6.16: Recycling in Chicago, Stormwater in DC, SIBs in Africa

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Dealflow is catching up from spring break with a full helping of impact investments in the U.S. and around the world.


Harvesting recyclables in Chicago. The Closed Loop Fund is investing $1.5 million (of $6.5 million total) in the Lakeshore Recycling Services facility to that demonstrate recycling can be profitable even when commodity prices are low. Rob Kaplan, Closed Loop’s managing helped hit the start button on Lakeshore’s new 40,000 square-foot Machinex recycling system that can sort, separate and allocate over 20 tons of waste per hour.

Africa’s first Social Impact Bonds. The Bertha Center for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship announced that the Western Cape Departments of Health and Social Development are allocating up to R25 million (US$1.65 million) over three years to test three social impact bonds (SIBs). The projects are aimed at improving the health, nutrition and developmental status of pregnant women and children under five in low-income communities.

Green stormwater management in Washington D.C. Prudential Financial is investing $1.7 million towards a new pilot collaboration to reduce the runoff of millions of gallons of pollutant-laden stormwater into the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. District Stormwater LLC, a collaboration the Nature Conservancy’s NatureVest and Encourage Capital will develop projects such as permeable pavement and rain gardens to generate Stormwater Retention Credits in a newly created marketplace.

Mobile payments in Vietnam. Standard Chartered Private Equity led an investment round in Momo , which offers a mobile wallet and payment app and a “branch-less” banking service for Vietnamese people without a traditional bank account. Initial backer Goldman Sachs invested an additional $3 million.

From brownfields to green. Fresh Coast Capital, a winner of the Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge in 2014, is investing $1 million to rehabilitate urban land in six U.S. cities. The investments will back the planting of 27,000 trees over 60 acres in Flint and Battle Creek, Mich.; St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo.; Youngstown, Ohio; and Elkhart, Ind. The project is expected to sequester 28 million pounds of carbon dioxide over the next 15 years.

Super food. Professional tennis players John Isner and Steve Johnson are investing in RUNA. The line of organic, non-GMO, Fair Trade ready-to-drink teas and energy drinks is made from the guayusa leaf, an energizing Amazonian tea,. RUNA supports over 3,000 indigenous farming families in Ecuador that sustainably grow guayusa. Isner and Johnson join early impact investor Metabrand Capital.

Digital banking. The Omidyar Network made Series B-1 round equity investment in Tandem, a full-service digital bank licensed in the United Kingdom that leverages big data analytics and human-centered design to offer consumers in the UK a better banking experience at a lower cost. “New banking models like Tandem can make a huge dent both toward financial inclusion in emerging markets and household financial health in developed countries,” said Omidyar’s Tilman Ehrbeck.

Microfinance in the U.S. The Calvert Foundation lent $6 million to Grameen America, which empowers low-income women entrepreneurs across the United States with access to capital, credit- and asset-building services. The organization, founded by Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, employs a group lending model to help women build small businesses, establish financial identity, boost their household income and create jobs in their communities.

Transportation tech. SJF Ventures and Fontinalis Partners co-led an $8 million financing round in TransLoc, a provider of transit technology to 140 US municipalities. Other investors included Marc Benioff’s Efficient Capacity fund, Thomas McMurray and Patient Capital Collaborative, an impact fund affiliated with Investors’ Circle.

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DealFlow is ImpactAlpha’s weekly roundup of what, where, how and why impact capital flowed each week… See more impact deals in ImpactAlpha’s DealFlow section. And send your dealflow news to [email protected].