The Brief | November 29, 2022

The Brief: Onboarding impact investors, Evercare’s exit in Kenya, supply-chain financing in Nigeria, cities as carbon sinks, innovative finance playbook

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Greetings, Agents of Impact!

Featured: Agents of Impact Podcast

Toussaint Bailey: Bringing ‘the quietly bothered’ into impact investing. Between the true believers in investing for impact and those that have dug in their heels against it, there are the “quietly bothered.” “It is incumbent upon us people who are changemakers for a living to create solutions for these quietly bothered folks that meet them where they are in their lives,” Uplifting Capital’s Toussaint Bailey says in the latest episode of ImpactAlpha’s Agents of Impact podcast. “We want to turn these desires for big, sweeping changes into micro acts of courage that people can access in a day.” Bailey himself is more than quietly bothered. In the aftermath of the 2020 murder of George Floyd, he took a sabbatical as CEO of Petaluma, Calif.-based Enso Wealth Management, which he had built into a $1.8 billion registered investment advisor. He convened a series of conversations around race and racism in wealth management. “And at that point I knew I needed to do something more than just help people create wealth,” he said. “I needed to help people who seemed to be genuinely bothered by what they were seeing, who seemed to genuinely want to make change.”

Bailey arranged the sale of Enso and launched Uplifting Capital. The firm is part of the second cohort of VC Include, the accelerator for diverse impact managers founded by Bahiyah Yasmeen Robinson (see, and listen in to, “VC Include’s Bahiyah Yasmeen Robinson on three drivers of inclusion alpha”). Uplifting Capital aims to broaden access to impact investing to high-net worth individuals and small foundations that are moving capital from public equities to private markets but may not have an impact lens. Bailey knows that such investors need products with relatively low fees that are easy to integrate into standard portfolios in terms of cash flow, liquidity and returns. The fund’s first deployments were to Collide Capital and Kapor Capital. “If we’re not creating solutions for the people who want to see change, then we’re missing the opportunity,” Bailey says. “If we’re missing potential allies, then shame on us.” 

Dealflow: Investing in Health

Kenya’s Metro Group buys Evercare’s stake in Nairobi hospital group. The Evercare Health Fund, managed by TPG Rise since the liquidation of the troubled Abraaj Group in 2019, has sold its majority stake in Kenya-based Metropolitan Hospital Holdings to co-investor The Metro Group. Under Abraaj, the Growth Markets Health Fund aspired to build vertically integrated networks of health providers to treat low- and middle-income patients in major cities in Africa and South Asia. The deal, valued at one billion Kenyan shillings ($8.1 million), returns ownership of Metropolitan Hospital Holdings to its original founders, who established it in 1994. The group’s two hospitals have 160 beds and more than 350 staff members. The facilities have served roughly 300,000 mostly low- and middle-income patients since Evercare invested.

Pivo scores $2 million to provide financing and tools for Nigeria’s vendors. The Lagos-based startup provides financial services and business management tools to 300 small vendors in Nigeria’s manufacturing supply chain. Launched last year, Pivo has deployed more than $3 million in working capital loans, along with digital invoicing and tracking covering $4 million in transactions. The women-led venture says its borrowers have a 98% repayment rate. The seed financing round was backed by Precursor Ventures, Y Combinator, Mercy Corp Ventures, FoundersX and others. Pivo plans to expand to East Africa.

  • Financial inclusion. In a separate deal, Djamo, a fintech company serving 500,000 consumers in Côte d’Ivoire, raised $14 million in equity. Investors include Oikocredit, Partech Africa, Launch Africa and Enza Capital. Djamo, which launched last year, plans to expand in francophone Africa and add investment and lending services.
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Dealflow overflow. Other investment news crossing our desks:

  • Tanzania’s Ramani, a startup working to digitize Africa’s supply chains, raised $32 million in Series A equity and debt.
  • Continuum (formerly Molyworks) raised $36 million for sustainable metal recycling in a round led by decarbonization-focused private equity firm Ara Partners.
  • Women-led venture capital firm Pact raised £30 million ($36 million) to back early-stage startups focused on inclusion, wellbeing and climate tech in Europe.
  • I-ROX snagged €12 million ($12.4 million) from Breakthrough Energy Ventures Europe to develop renewable pulsed-power technology for mining.
  • Dat Bike scored $8 million in a round led by Singapore-based Jungle Ventures to bring electric motorbikes to Vietnam.

Six Short Signals: What We’re Reading

🌍 Africa risk, adjusted. Investor risk perception must reflect the resilience, digitization and integration taking hold in African markets. (Gillian Marcelle / LSE Business Review)

📋 The innovative finance playbook. Alternative capital products and investment strategies can bridge capital gaps for entrepreneurs and small businesses. (Blueprint Local)

🏙️ Cities as carbon sinks. Up to 60 gigatons of CO2 could be stored in buildings by 2050, equivalent to four-fifths of the carbon stored in the Amazon rainforest. How? Swapping traditional materials such as steel and cement for low carbon, bio-based or recycled alternatives. (A/O PropTech)

🌱 Nature-based solutions. Demand for more productive and sustainable management of farms, forests and landscapes could drive annual investment in “nature tech” to $6 billion by 2030. (Nature4Climate)

🚲 Two-wheel converts. France is paying car drivers nearly $4,000 to switch to an electric bike. (Electrek)

🏃🏽‍♀️ Renewables race. China is adding more renewables annually than Europe, the U.S. and India combined. (Science Is Strategic / Financial Times)

Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent

Kate Turner is promoted to global head of responsible investment at First Sentier Investors, succeeding Will Oulton, who will retire at the end of the year… LEGO is hiring a climate strategy director in London… Temasek’s GenZero investment division has openings for senior associates, vice presidents and an intern in Singapore.

Sun Life is looking for a director for its business climate and environment strategy… Carbon180 seeks a senior policy advisor for agriculture in Washington, D.C., or Baltimore… Sunshine Sachs Morgan & Lylis is hiring a senior account executive for social impact in New York… Ford Foundation and JUST Capital are soliciting proposals to advance research and data on human capital management.

Thank you for your impact!

– Nov. 29, 2022