The Brief | November 29, 2021

The Brief: Warriors and lovers, plant-based everything, electric boats, open-source ESG, inclusive fintech in Indonesia

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Greetings, Agents of Impact! 

Featured: Capitalism Reimagined

Warriors and Lovers: Systemic change requires diversity in strategies, too. When it comes to reimagining capitalism, some leaders and organizations confront power with campaigns, demands, demonstrations and grassroots and community organizing. Others try to build bridges across differences by emphasizing collaboration, shaping conversations, nudging behavior-change and rewarding best practices. Building a robust and effective movement for change means forging an understanding of how to leverage diverse approaches in the service of shared goals. The New Capitalism Project, an 18-month effort backed by Omidyar Network, the Ford and Rockefeller foundations and other funders, challenged itself to recruit a diverse design team across race, ethnicity and gender. It also sorted participants into Warriors, Entrepreneurs, Missionaries and Lovers on axes from confrontation to collaboration and destruction to creation. “We intentionally sought a mix of inside-game and outside-game leaders and organizations,” said Anna Muoio, the consultant who leads the New Capitalism Project. “Those who move not just through collaboration in driving change, but also those who engage in change through confrontation.” 

Four members of the design team, along with Omidyar Network’s Chris Jurgens, agreed to talk about the project’s work on ImpactAlpha’s Agents of Impact Call tomorrow. Carol Anne Hilton founded the Indigenomics Institute to flip the perception of Indigenous peoples’ role in the economy. “I come from over 10,000 years of the potlatch tradition of giving and demonstration of wealth, connection and relationship,” Hilton writes in her book, Indigenomics. Eli Kasargod-Staub has helped Majority Action take on major asset managers for “status-quo governance of climate risks.” Only a “wholesale transformation” from the utility, finance, and oil and gas sectors can forestall catastrophic climate change, he says, “which will only take place if investors hold their boards accountable.” Amit Bouri of the Global Impact Investing Network and Meredith Sumpter of the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism will also join The Call. “The design team put in the time—and sweat—to understand how each sees the current failures of our economic system,” Muoio says. “And then to imagine, courageously and collectively, what a better future could look like.”

Keep reading, “Warriors and Lovers: Systemic change requires diversity in strategies, too,” by David Bank on ImpactAlpha.

Dealflow: Plant-Based Everything

Impossible Foods raises $500 million for plant-based products and global expansion. The Redwood City, Calif.-based company is leveraging “the power of the food system to satisfy consumers and fight climate change,” said Impossible’s David Borecky. In the last four months, it launched Impossible Sausage, Impossible Chicken Nuggets, Impossible Pork and Impossible Meatballs. It also expanded to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates. The company says its products can be found in 22,000 grocery stores and 40,000 restaurants globally.

  • Alt-protein forecast. The market for alternative protein is expected to reach $290 billion by 2035. The investment round was led by South Korea’s Mirae Asset Global Investments, with participation from existing investors. Impossible has a roster of celebrity investors that include Jay-Z, Trevor Noah, Katy Perry, Ruby Rose, Jaden Smith and Serena Williams. Impossible has raised nearly $2 billion since 2011.
  • Plant-based startups. San Francisco-based New Culture secured $25 million in Series A funding, backed by S2G Ventures, to make animal-free cheese. Slovenia’s plant-based steak startup Juicy Marbles scored $4.5 million in seed funding, led by World Fund, which launched a €350 million ($405.7 million) climate tech fund.
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Arc secures $30 million to electrify boats. Watercraft in the U.S. are responsible for more than 44 million tons of carbon per year. L.A.-based Arc aims to electrify whole fleets, starting with watersport boats. Arc One, a 24-foot aluminium boat, can run for up to five hours and carry 10 people. It costs $300,000. Arc’s Series A round was led by Eclipse Ventures’ Greg Reichow, a former Tesla executive who will join the company’s board. Other investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Lowercarbon Capital and Abstract Ventures.

Dealflow overflow. Other investment news crossing our desks:

  • Indifi, which provides loans to restaurants and small businesses in India, raises $40.7 million in equity and debt financing.
  • Indonesian fintech Investree secures $10.5 million in debt from responsAbility and Accial Capital to provide affordable loans for small businesses.
  • A partnership between Kiva and Gardner Capital, a real estate and clean energy investor, will provide loans for BIPOC-owned small businesses in Texas.

Impact Voices: Open ESG

Can open data help solve the climate crisis? “Open-source” collaboration has accelerated the sequencing of the human genome and the development of COVID vaccines. OS-Climate, a nonprofit initiative hosted by the Linux Foundation, is borrowing open data principles to accelerate climate action. Members include Goldman Sachs, BNP Paribas and KPMG, as well as Microsoft, Red Hat and World Resources Institute. The group aims to marshal data scientists, financial modelers and others to create an open-source library of data and tools that will drive transparency of climate-related financial risks and opportunities – and drive financial decisions. Without such open-source initiatives, “it’s going to be extremely difficult to achieve the objectives that we as investors and asset managers have,” for keeping warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and striving toward net-zero emissions, Generation’s David Blood said in Glasgow during COP26.

  • Full market disclosure. “Climate risk analysis should not be an investment edge, but a public good,” Gregory Beier of Sustainability Arbitrage writes in a guest post. His solution: make climate and ESG data open to everyone. Companies are the main focus of disclosure mandates today. The entire value chain, from rating agencies to fund managers, should disclose the data and rationale underlying their ESG ratings, research and investment decisions, Beier argues. Such “full market disclosure” would bring about “a great repricing” of climate risks, he says. RepRisk, a Zurich-based ESG data science firm, declared last week that it will make public its ESG data methodology.
  • Keep reading, “ESG data is a public good. Let’s open it up,” by Gregory Beier on ImpactAlpha.

Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent

Danielle Deane-Ryan, ex- of Libra Foundation, joins Bezos Earth Fund as director of equitable climate solutions… Candide Group is looking for a managing director of its climate justice fund… NYSERDA seeks a vice president of building decarbonization in Albany or New York City… The Natural Resources Defense Council is hiring an equitable building decarbonization advocate in New York… Aligned Climate Capital is recruiting a director of investor relations and other roles.

Kresge Foundation is hiring a portfolio manager of social investment practice… Bridges Fund Management is looking for an associate of portfolio management… Ceres is recruiting a senior manager of Climate Action 100+ and other roles… Applications are open for ANDE’s Gender Lens Pay for Results Fund… MaRS Climate Impact is convening Nov. 30-Dec. 2. Save 25% with code MARS25.

Thank you for your impact.

– Nov 29, 2021