ImpactAlpha, July 18 – Impact investor Pegasus is aiming to raise $625 million in blended financing to protect critically-threatened coral reefs and vulnerable coastal communities. The fund “intends to demonstrate, for the first time, impact investment at a sufficient scale to make a sizable dent in the problem,” says Deliberate Capital’s Dale Galvin, who has been appointed to lead the fund.
The Global Fund for Coral Reefs will invest in wild-caught fisheries, aquaculture, hospitality and circular economy initiatives.
Green Climate Fund anchored the coral reef fund with $125 million in junior equity. Impact investor Builders Vision invested $5 million as the fund’s first private investor, along with a $5 million grant.
“We have an urgent obligation to intervene and pursue innovations to create a flywheel effect to save these vibrant natural resources,” said Builders Vision’s Lukas Walton, a grandson of Walmart founder Sam Walton.
Bloomberg Philanthropies backed the grant portion of the fund with $8 million.
Life below water
Pollution and climate change threaten to wipe out 90% of the world’s coral within 30 years, putting coastal communities and biodiversity at risk. SDG No. 14, which targets “life below water,” is the least funded of all the Sustainable Development Goals, receiving only $25.5 billion annually – a $150 billion shortfall.
The Global Fund for Coral Reefs “is by far the largest impact investing initiative for oceans to date,” Galvin told ImpactAlpha. Mirova, Ocean 14, S2G Ventures and SWEN Capital Partners are all raising or investing $100 million-plus ocean funds.
1000 Ocean Startups, a consortium to accelerate ocean solutions and tech, launched at the World Oceans Conference in Lisbon.