The Brief | June 1, 2018

The Brief’s Big 8: Impact is contagious and spreading, 7 corporate impact VC deals, private equity and the SDGs

The team at


Greetings, ImpactAlpha readers!

You all packed a lot of impact investing news into a short week. We tried to keep up. Enjoy our weekly roundup (and tell your friends). Have an inclusive, sustainable weekend.

– The ImpactAlpha team

Featured: The Brief’s Big 8

1. The Impact Alpha: Agents of impact start to infect their hosts. Inside corporations and among global asset owners, explicit, accountable social and environmental value creation is contagious and spreading, David Bank suggests in the latest in his weekly series, “The Impact Alpha.” Corporate venture capitalists, for example, are increasingly becoming corporate impact investors as they assess long-term risks and emerging growth opportunities (see No. 2). From within and without, bottom up and the top down, agents of impact are infecting their hosts. The logic is infectious.

2. Seven corporate impact investment deals in seven weeks. No sooner had ImpactAlpha called corporate venture capital’s move into impact investing than came a flurry of deals that confirmed the trend. From Salesforce and Tyson Foods to the oil giant BP, corporations are taking stakes in impact ventures to tap innovation, enter new markets, and drive their own efforts at inclusion and sustainability. Get smart quickly.

3. This tech startup tapped impact growth capital – as a nonprofit. The innovative revenue-participation agreement between climate-data startup WattTime and RSF Social Finance could help other nonprofits find the capital they need for R&D and sales growth. The broader question: How can any company attract and compensate investors without diverting resources from impact? Cool deal terms.

4. Best practices for private equity investing in the Global Goals. Key Sustainable Development Goals, including renewable energy, health care, education, food production and gender “play to the PE agenda,” says a new report. “Exits that demonstrate a return on social value will become the norm in the near term.” Be smart: Few fund managers are using the SDGs to drive investment policies or new products. The how.

5. Deals of the week. Drink from the deal firehose all day on Here’s this week’s best:

6. Data suggests impact accelerator programs do, indeed, accelerate.Every dollar spent on accelerator programs “translates into more than one dollar of additional funds for participating entrepreneurs,” according to a new report from ANDE and Emory University’s Social Enterprise at Goizueta. The big takeaway: Revenue is king. Accelerator “programming that promotes revenue growth also leads to positive investment outcomes,” according to researchers. More takeaways.

7. SOCAP meets Burning Man meets TechCrunch Disrupt at the Katapult Future Festival in Oslo.’s Avary Kent shared some takeaways. Among them: The impact alpha is real. “I’m glad people think impact means giving up returns. It means more upside for us!” said Seth Bannon of Fifty Years VC. More from Oslo.

8. Total impact investing assets under management grew to (drum roll…) $228 billion. The totals tallied by the Global Impact Investing Network effectively size the market each year for funds committed to impact. In advance of the report, the GIIN’s Amit Bouri dropped the new headline number, $228 billion, exactly double last year’s estimate. We’ll dig in to the full report next week. First look.

–June 1, 2018.