Charting the flow of capital through dairy waste, SPACs and the end of externalities (podcast). Institutional investors took awhile “to get comfortable with the fact that we were going to process manure and urine and create something of institutional value,” Equilibrium Capital’s Dave Chen says in the latest installment in ImpactAlpha’s podcast series, Institutional Shift. Pension funds and others were slow “to wrap their heads around the fact that shit has value.” Institutional investors now have their heads well wrapped. In February, Portland-based Equilibrium sold a dairy manure-to-renewable natural gas, or RNG, facility in Oregon to Resilient Infrastructure Group, which is part of $109 billion Swiss private equity firm Partners Group. To meet regulatory mandates, gas utilities, as well as oil and gas companies, “are buying as much dairy RNG as they can possibly get,” Chen said.
Dealflow: Follow the Money
South Africa’s Quro Medical raises $1.1 million for home healthcare. More than 80% of South Africa’s population, particularly the Black urban and rural poor, depend on the country’s underfunded and understaffed public health system. Johannesburg-based Quro Medical is working to make affordable care at home an alternative to hospital stays for public insurance holders. Its services include video consultations, vital-sign monitoring and IV treatment for patients who would otherwise seek hospital admission, and home nursing for high-risk patients. Nairobi-based seed-stage investor Enza Capital and South Africa-based Mohau Equity Partners backed the round.
Signals: Ahead of the Curve
Cascade of climate-tech funds take aim at $10 trillion energy transition opportunity. Sign of the times: A clean energy venture firm launching in the heart of Texas’ oil patch. Houston-based Energy Transition Ventures, seeking to raise $75 million, cites the dramatically falling costs of renewable energy, which have made it cheaper to build new clean energy than to operate existing fossil fuel plants. At least 500 multi-billion dollar energy companies globally, and a big chunk of global GDP, “are going to get disrupted in the energy transition,” said ETV’s Neal Dikeman, an oil industry transplant. The contours of the massive opportunity created by the energy transition are coming into view. “I look at this as one of the greatest investment opportunities over our lifetimes,” BlackRock’s Larry Fink said this week to launch Decarbonization Partners (see, “Singapore's Temasek and BlackRock team up as Decarbonization Partners). BlackRock, which also raised a $4.8 billion global renewable energy fund, sees a $10 trillion investment opportunity in the transition to a net-zero economy.
Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent
ThomasLloyd hires Alan Burnett, ex- of Manulife Asset Management, as a director overseeing wholesale clients in the U.K. and Ireland… Nneka Uzoh, ex- of Elemental Excelerator and founder of Greentech Noir, joins Aligned Climate Capital as senior vice president. Aligned Climate Capital is hiring an associate in L.A., New York or Washington, D.C… CrossBoundary is looking for a head of domestic advisory in New York or Washington, D.C.
“It’s a great time for new entrants, but for those of us who’ve been doing this for a while it is equally urgent to raise our game right and to not get complacent,” said Margot Brandenburg of the Ford Foundation.
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