The Brief | July 31, 2019

The Brief: Reverse the polarity, aging in place, Indian agribusiness, off-grid refrigeration, affordable housing innovations in Louisville

The team at


Greetings, Agents of Impact!

Inside story. Tomorrow’s Agents of Impact Call No. 10 will air out the big themes informing ImpactAlpha’s editorial coverage (see below). ImpactAlpha’seditors will be joined by Special Agents of Impact Cynthia Muller of Kellogg Foundation, John Goldstein of Goldman Sachs and Adam Connaker of Rockefeller Foundation for a lively and interactive conversation. Join The Call, Thursday, Aug. 1st, at 10:00 am PT / 1:00 pm ET / 6:00 pm London. RSVP today.

Featured: ImpactAlpha Original 

‘Reverse the polarity’ tops ImpactAlpha’s charts for the transformation of finance. Extraction gives way to regeneration. Inequality is trumped by inclusion. The poles of the global financial order are reversed so human, social and financial capital flows toward a sustainable future, as if pulled by a magnet. Can’t happen? The Earth’s actual magnetic poles have reversed at least 183 times in the last 83 million years. The last reversal, about 780,000 years ago, could have occurred as quickly as a human lifetime – and we may be in the early stages of another reversal right now. A geomagnetic reversal could cause continents to lurch. The impact of the reversal in global flows of capital, people and goods, as well as power and ideas, may be no less profound.

Reverse the polarity is at the top of ImpactAlpha’s list of themes and memes with which we try to make sense of impact investing news. We reviewed a few others this week. Returns on Inclusion highlights opportunities to invest in underestimated entrepreneurs and underserved markets. Making the “S” in ESG stand for Share the Wealth recognizes that rising income inequality is a systemic risk. Watching social and environmental impact Infect the Host as it worms its way through the legacy financial machinery is one of ImpactAlpha’sobsessions. A brighter future is by no means assured. But it is possible. It may be grandiose for a small team, but charting that transformation is ImpactAlpha’s, uh, north star. Follow the talent and join The Call tomorrow to tell us what to watch out for. RSVP today.

Keep reading, “‘Reverse the polarity’ tops ImpactAlpha’s charts for the transformation of finance,” by David Bank on ImpactAlpha.

Sponsored: Content by Tiedemann Advisors

Your impact investing journey: Doing your due diligence for impact. With new ESG and impact funds launching almost every day, investors can feel overwhelmed with options. At Tiedemann, we spend a lot of time on due diligence to make sure our clients’ capital is allocated into high-quality, institutionally-oriented investment funds employing truly impactful outcomes,” Tiedemann’s Brad Harrison writes in the latest installment of “Your impact investing journey.” Tiedemann looks for specialist, boutique and active managers with uncorrelated investment strategies “to allow us to separate the high-quality managers from the low-quality ones” – and steer clients clear of “impact-washing” in the market. Do your due diligence for impact.

Dealflow: Follow the Money

Seniovo raises €2 million to help seniors age in place. A quarter of Europe’s population will be over 60 by next year, and many will one day need long-term care. The Berlin-based property tech startup wants to make it easier to age at home, rather than in long-term care facilities. Users can secure funding for home renovations by connecting to grants and state funding and get matched with contractors. The company says it has secured subsidies for 95% of its 500 clients in Germany, according to EU Startups. Seniovo’s Series A round was backed by PropTech1 Ventures and German venture capital firm IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft, which both invested in the company’s seed round last October. Read on.

Upaya uses recoverable grants to invest in two Indian agribusinesses.Seattle-based Upaya Social Ventures is using $1 million in recoverable grants from foundation partners to prove out investment opportunities serving the poorest of the poor. Its first two investments are Odisha-based ZooFresh Foods, which connects small farmers to high-need markets, and Laymen Agro, a dairy company that employs India’s youth for its home-delivery milk service. Both companies participated in Upaya’s agribusiness accelerator last year. Upaya has made small investments in 16 social enterprises in India and aims to use the recoverable grant fund to double its reach. The Delta Fundcommitted half of the fund’s capital. 3rd Creek FoundationChintu Gudiya FoundationGalloway Family FoundationVibrant Village Foundation and the Norwegian Interhands Foundation provided the rest. Check it out.

Kenya’s Cropnuts expands soil and crop testing. The Limuru-based company has provided soil water and crop testing for 50,000 small farmers in Africa. Funding from DOB Equity and AHL Venture Partners will helpCropnuts reach 500,000 farmers by 2023.

Sure Chill raises £4 million for off-grid refrigeration. Garage Soho and Novastar Ventures backed the U.K.-based company, which provides vaccine and drug refrigeration in places where access to healthcare and medicine is strained.

Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent

ImpactAlpha is hiring: Director of Growth. Hot business trend meets scalable media model. Our new Director of Growth will drive subscription marketing to grow recurring revenues so we can serve the growing community of Agents of Impact even better. Join ImpactAlpha’s team (and spread the word).

Brooklyn’s BlocPower, Louisville’s Elevation Rentals and Austin’s Haven Connect are among a dozen finalists vying for $300,000 grants in Access Ventures’ Affordable Housing Innovations In Louisville challenge… Fifty Yearsis hiring a chief of staff in San Francisco (see, Fifty Years’ $50 million fund signals tech’s turn toward impact”)… The California Endowment is recruiting an impact investing associate and a program analyst of impact investing… SustainAbility seeks an analyst in London…  Also in London, Cambridge Associates is hiring an investment analyst of sustainable investing… UBS is looking for a senior investment analyst of ESG and sustainability in New York… Also in New York, Acumen is hiring an office manager… is looking for a membership manager… Confluence Philanthropy seeks an operations coordinator in Oakland… Massachusetts Clean Energy Center is recruiting an investment analyst in Boston.

– July 31. 2019