The Brief | October 25, 2021

The Brief: Investing in health, green infrastructure in India, hydrogen-powered air cargo, LatAm vocational training

The team at


Greetings, Agents of Impact!

Answer The Call: Catalytic climate capital. Investors need not wait for COP26 or the U.S. Congress to put their capital to work in the climate transition. Entrepreneurs, project developers and operators are assembling financing for climate impact at scale. Hear from Breakthrough Energy’s Jonah Goldman on commercialization and corporate demand, Prime Impact’s Amy Duffuor on crossing the early-stage “valley of death,” LEAF Coalition’s Heather McGeory on paying for nature-based success, Convergence’s Joan Larrea on making blended finance work, and hundreds of other Agents of Impact on ways to deploy catalytic climate capital, tomorrow, Oct. 26 at 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm London. RSVP now.

Featured: Investing in Health

How the pandemic is propelling innovators to bridge healthcare gaps in emerging markets. From Lombardy, Italy and Queens, New York to Jakarta, Indonesia and Delhi, India, the desperate scramble for oxygen has been a recurring feature of every coronavirus surge. Those scenes have spurred entrepreneurs in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and other African countries to set up local oxygen-supply businesses to support local hospitals and medical centers. The businesses are supported by Oxygen Hub, which leases oxygen concentration machinery, storage cylinders and delivery trucks to its franchises and provides upfront financing. The network also supplies operating procedures, training and customer acquisition support. The franchises pay Oxygen Hub a franchise fee and a percentage of their revenues. “We’re seizing the renewed attention to this crisis and building something that’ll last well beyond COVID,” Oxygen Hub’s Effeson Hailemichael tells ImpactAlpha.

Oxygen Hub is among the urgent supply-chain and other health innovations sparked by the pandemic that are now being deployed to fill long-term gaps in healthcare quality and access. In Nigeria, LifeBank is tackling logistics for medical equipment and drugs. Zipline is working with governments in Nigeria and Ghana to deliver COVID vaccines via drones. Pharmacies like Goodlife in Kenya and 1MG in India are expanding their online products and services. Frontline health innovation is attracting impact and commercial capital, from the philanthropic (such as Soros Economic Development Fund and Gates Foundation) to the commercial (including U.K. asset manager Baillie Gifford and private equity giant TPG’s Rise Fund). To build the commercial case for a decentralized oxygen supply chain, Oxygen Hub has raised $8 million in grants from the Skoll Foundation, ELMA Philanthropies and philanthropist McKenzie Scott and is in the process of raising an equity round.

Dealflow: Climate Finance

CDC Group invests $70 million in BP-backed climate fund for India. Momentum behind green infrastructure is growing in India, even though the country has yet to update its ‘nationally determined commitment’ less than a week before the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. The Green Growth Equity Fund from EverSource Capital, a joint venture between Indian private equity firm Everstone and BP’s renewable energy group Lightsource BP, is targeting infrastructure investments that support India’s low-carbon transition and mitigate climate impacts. Target sectors include renewable energy, energy efficiency, e-mobility and waste and water management. CDC, the U.K.’s development finance institution, has pledged $1 billion in climate funding for India by 2026.

  • Platform strategy. The Green Growth Equity Fund aims to roll up small companies with complementary services. “By consolidating lots of smaller companies with similar business models under one roof, the platform can achieve both operational efficiencies and scale,” the CDC said.
  • Renewables and waste. The fund’s portfolio includes commercial renewables company Radiance, utility-scale renewables company Ayana, e-mobility venture Greencell Mobility, waste management company EverEnviro, and wastewater management venture Kathari.
  • Check it out.

Singapore’s H3 Dynamics closes $26 million for hydrogen-powered air cargo and logistics. H3 is the latest hydrogen-fuel startup to secure investor backing in the race to green the aviation industry (for background, see “Zero-carbon air travel takes flight with a wave of new investments”). While companies like Universal Hydrogen and ZeroAvia are focusing on commercial aircraft, H3 Dynamics is taking on long-range air logistics with unmanned drones and cargo aircraft. Toyota Motor-backed SPARX Mirai Creation Fund, EDBI, ACA investors, Capital Management Group, Ascent Hydrogen Fund and others backed the Series B round.

  • In phases. H3 is rolling out hydrogen-powered drones for inspections and incident-response, including high-rise building inspections, e27 reports. The company expects to expand into commercial passenger aircraft.
  • Take off

Dealflow overflow. Other investment news crossing our desks:

  • Pledge secures $4.5 million to help ride-hailing, travel and transport companies and their customers offset their carbon emissions.
  • Credit Suisse and BlackRock co-launch a health and wellbeing fund to attract private wealth investments to physical, mental and financial health.
  • Aprende Institute raises $22 million to provide online vocational training to workers in Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and to Spanish speakers in the U.S.
  • Nigerian neobank Brass clinches $1.7 million to provide digital banking services to small businesses, with plans to expand to Kenya and South Africa.

Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent

ImpactAlpha partner events: There’s still time to register for Wednesday’s Next Normal Now on regeneration from the Global Impact Investing Network. Join a breakout session on “Land: Strengthening land and cityscapes for healthy ecosystems and communities,” with Yusef Freeman of Jonathan Rose Companies, Clarmondial’s Tanja Haveeman, rePlant Capital’s Robyn O’Brien, and Arindom Datta of Rabobank. RSVP todayTideline presents “An inside look at one allocator’s approach to impact fund diligence,” a case study of J.P. Morgan Private Bank’s Global Impact Fund, with J.P. Morgan’s Jessica Matthews and John Ancona, Elevar’s Amie Patel, Trill Impact’s Pia Irell, moderated by Tideline’s Ben Thornley, Wednesday, Nov. 3. Sign up

The Miller Center at Santa Clara University is looking for a senior director of programs… Pacific Community Ventures has openings for a chief impact officer, a credit analyst for small business lending, and an impact investing intern… The National Center for Family Philanthropy is hiring a program director in Washington, D.C… Cisco seeks a climate impact portfolio manager… The US SIF’s Center for Sustainable Investment Education is offering a virtual training class on the fundamentals of sustainable and impact investment, Thursday, Dec. 2.

Thank you for your impact.

– Oct. 25, 2021