The Brief | January 9, 2023

The Brief: Inside impact reports, green energy dealflow, healthcare for older women, climate resilience in Madagascar, revenue-based finance in Latin America

The team at


Greetings, Agents of Impact!

Featured: Impact Management

Searching for signals in new impact reports from Elevar, Veris, Calvert and other investment managers. The first mandate of an impact investment fund: Deliver actual impact through its investments. And the corollary: Effectively communicate that impact to stakeholders – particularly asset owners and institutional allocators. Increased scrutiny from pension funds, universities and other investors, as well as from regulators and politicians, has impact fund managers scrambling to back up their impact claims. Investors “want reports that cut through the noise, allow them to differentiate between credible and inflated claims, and offer insights into what’s working (or not working) in an investor’s impact approach,” says Christina Leijonhufvud of BlueMark, an impact verification firm that has assessed the impact reports for nearly 20 firms including KKRLGT Capital Partners and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Zero Gap Fund. BlueMark has spun its experience into a new framework for rating impact reports, from low to advanced, on the completeness of the fund’s impact strategy and results, and reliability, or the clarity and quality of the data reported. Highlighting only the number of jobs an investment created, for example, fails to tell the full story; better reports provide context into the quality of jobs created, answering questions such as, do workers have benefits and labor protections?

Annual impact reports from fund managers (and a few companies) have become a holiday-season ritual. For investors and impact strategists, the reports provide measurement and performance data that at least invite further interrogation. Elevar Equity’s report, for example, highlights networked business models for serving low-income customers. Veris Wealth Partnerscalls out a shortage of investable solutions that tackle environmental and climate justice head on. Atlas Impact Partners makes the case for shorting what could be called the “addiction economy.” And all of the reports represent at least an intention for accountability, as well as an impressive amount of work. Reading them is the least ImpactAlpha can do! In today’s feature, we present a sampling from the current pile, including reports from Runway and Calvert Impact. “There’s a high degree of distrust and extraction that has happened at the hands of our financial and banking system,” said Runway’s Nina Robinson. “We need to disrupt those industries and create new policies and a new rule book so that capital can flow freely.”

Dealflow: Energy Transition

A passel of clean energy deals to kick off the new year. Climate tech proved resilient last year relative to other VC sectors more impacted by the global economic slowdown. And the beat goes on. Spain’s H2B2 Electrolysis Technologies is among the first companies this year to raise capital in the hot green hydrogen market. The company is developing projects in Spain, the U.S., Germany, India and Colombia with capacity to generate 200 megawatts of clean energy. It’s raising capital via a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, which will allow the company to go public through an acquisitionfrom Carlyle Group. SPACs were a popular growth strategy (and early investor exit strategy) for companies in emerging tech sectors, before plummeting last year with the overall market downturn.

  • Community renewables. Nashville-based Silicon Ranch Corp. raised$375 million to build out community renewable energy and battery storage infrastructure. The company’s existing and pipeline of projects amounts to five gigawatts of clean power generation in the U.S. and Canada. Manulife Investment ManagementTD Asset Management Inc. and Mountain Group Partners backed the company. Silicon Ranch closed a $775 million equity round early last year.
  • Greening infrastructureCaban Systems raised $51 million to decarbonize and modernize critical infrastructure. For example, the California-based company combines lithium-ion energy storage and remote monitoring software for telecommunications providers to green telecom towers, which often use diesel fuel as one of their main power sources. Woman-led Caban has supplied more than 1,200 megawatt-hours of clean energy and helps reduce site operating costs by as much as 70%. Its Series B round was backed by BCP VenturesOntario Power Generation Pension FundEmber Infrastructure and others.
  • Check it out.

Herself Health scores $7 million to provide value-based care to older women. St. Paul, Minn.-based Herself Health is looking to deliver advanced primary care to women with Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans. Older women, particularly socioeconomically disadvantaged and minority women, experience a higher burden of chronic illness, disability and comorbidity than men. Herself Health is looking to “break the mold of one-size-fits-most healthcare, which traditionally falls short of providing the best care for women,” said Herself Health’s Kristen Helton, and “empower women to keep growing bolder in mind, body, and spirit at any age.” 

  • Women’s health. The seed investment round was led by founding partner Juxtapose, a New York-based investment firm. Herself Health plans to take an omnichannel approach, creating home-based and virtual care touchpoints. The company opened its first clinic in Minneapolis last week.
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Dealflow overflow. Other investment news crossing our desks:

  • Madagascar secured $19.2 million from the African Development Bankto protect the island nation from climate shocks.
  • IMPAQTO Capital raised $2 million to make revenue-based investments in early-stage impact startups in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and Chile.
  • Lithuania’s Walk15 scored €600,000 ($638,550) to help organizations create physical activity programs for their employees.
  • Vision Blue Resources raised $61 million for a fund to invest in companies procuring and developing materials for battery systems.

Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent

Oak HC/FT promotesEliza Adams and Tess Munsie to vice president and Stephen Dierks to head of fintech talent… The ImPactseeks a catalytic capital senior associate in New York… SOCAP Globalseeks a director of content… The Community Foundation of Holland Zeeland is recruiting a president and CEO in Holland, Mich… Climate tech venture studio Marble is recruiting a venture science associate, founders in residence, and interns… SmartCarbon is looking for a carbon consultant and trainer… ClimateWorks Foundationseeks a data assistant for global intelligence… Dalberg is lookingfor a project director in Lesotho.

Closed Loop Partners is hiring a director of finance and strategy, as well as a senior associate to the director of circular services investments in New York… The United Nations Foundationhas several openings in Washington, D.C., New York and Port-Au-Prince, Haiti… City Yearis recruiting a managing director of impact in San Antonio… The University of Southern Californiaseeks a sustainability coordinator… Akina Mama wa Afrikais looking for an economic justice and climate action associate in Kampala, Uganda. 

Battery materials company Silais hiring a program manager in Alameda, Calif… Northeastern Universityis recruiting an associate director for community research planning and engagement in Boston… The Sobrato Organizationseeks a director of grants management in Mountain View, Calif… The Ford Foundation Center For Social Justice is hosting a discussion with Anand Giridharadas about his new book, The Persuaders, Tuesday, Jan. 17.

Thank you for your impact.

– Jan. 9, 2023