The Brief’s Big 8: Record impact assets, tech finds impact, new economics



Greetings, ImpactAlpha readers!

Featured: The Brief’s Big 8

1. The Impact Alpha: ‘Hybrid’ investors seek the alpha in impact. Wealth managers like BlackRock, JP Morgan, UBS and Credit Suisse, along with private-equity giants like TPG, Bain and KKR, are the Priuses of capital. Such “conventional” investors hold $88 billion in impact assets and are the fastest-growing category of impact investors, according to an annual survey by the GIIN. Inside the hybrids, new impact products and funds will live alongside conventional investments, making clear not only comparative client demand, but financial performance—and impact. Impact alpha is the key differentiator.

  • Headline numbers. The GIIN found $228 billion in impact assets under management among 229 investors in 2017. Total dealmaking reached $35.5 billion across more than 11,000 deals, up from $22.1 billion in less than 8,000 deals in 2016. GIIN survey results.
  • Headline numbers. The GIIN found $228 billion in impact assets under management among 229 investors in 2017. Total dealmaking reached $35.5 billion across more than 11,000 deals, up from $22.1 billion in less than 8,000 deals in 2016. GIIN survey results.

2. Long-term asset owners move to future-proof their portfolios. “The beauty of focusing on the asset-owner community is that if you can even move them even one or two degrees off their north star, you’re going to move trillions of dollars,” says Stanford’s Ashby Monk, who’s at the hub of multiple networks of pension, sovereign wealth and other institutional asset owners. Monk joins Equilibrium Capital’s Dave Chen on “Institutional Shift,” a special series of Returns on Investment podcasts. Read on and listen in.

3. Techstars Impact hunts for alpha with first accelerator cohort. Techstars launched a dedicated “impact” accelerator and impact fund after finding impact ventures outperformed their conventional peers. Pipeline Equity, which helps companies unlock value by eliminating gender bias, is among the 10 firms in the international accelerator network’s first impact cohort. Impact pipeline.

4. Deals of the week. Drink from the deal firehose all day on ImpactAlpha.com. Here’s a roundup of the best:

  • Impact exits. Brazil’s Vox Capital exits TEM. Banco Solidario buys outOikocredit, Triodos and MicroVest.
  • Inclusive fintech. Eight startups selected as Financial Solutions Lab cohort winners. FinCompare in Berlin raises funding to help small businesses find loans. Fig Loans’ lending platform is aimed at community organizations.
  • Farmer finance. The Gates Foundation and a half-dozen other investors back Stellapps’ dairy-monitoring tools. Menterra invests inFarmFolks to improve India’s smallholder farming supply chains. AgriProtein raises $105 million for sustainable animal feed.
  • Housing finance. Impact investors seek to steer institutional capital toward affordable-housing finance. Àrgentil backs low-cost housing developer Tempohousing in Nigeria.

5. Potential and pitfalls in blockchain for social impact. ConsenSys, the Brooklyn blockchain startup, and PeaceTech Lab convened Blockchain for Social Impact to explore blockchain solutions from refugee aid to supply-chain transparency to impact reporting. Overheard.

6. Big Food’s sustainability leaders and laggards. Tyson Foods is investing in alternative protein. Norway’s SalMar is reducing emissions by 10% by 2020. Marine Harvest aims to minimize antibiotic use by 2022. The Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index grades 60 of the largest global animal protein companies—worth $300 billion—on eight social, environmental and governance issues. Which companies are at risk.

7. Electric-vehicle charging-infrastructure finance emerges. If Tesla’s projection of 526 million electric cars taking to the road by 2040 comes true, the charging-station infrastructure to keep them running needs an injection of $2.7 trillion, according to Morgan Stanley. An Axios poll shows concern about charging stations is the top reason people shy away from EVs. Hello investment opportunity.

8. Big think: Theory, practice and community in the new economic future.“The time has indeed come when we must revisit the underlying assumptions of our neoliberal economic order,” writes impact investing OG Jed Emerson on ImpactAlpha. That will take both reflection and action, “in a continued process of collaborative praxis,” says @BlendedValue. “It is all one journey, of which we are all a part.” Toward a new economic paradigm.

June 8, 2018.

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