The Liist | March 7, 2023

The Liist (March 2023): Venture funds zero in on women’s health, while women-led funds tackle education, social equity and regeneration

Jessica Pothering and Roodgally Senatus

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ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, March 7 – There’s a huge gender gap in medical and disease research funding. 

On this month’s Liist of impact funds that are currently raising capital, two fund managers have their sights set on the investment opportunity in women’s healthcare and services. Mexico City-based New Ventures is rolling out a $20 million fund to offer revenue-based financing to women’s health services startups in Latin America.

In the U.S., Europe and Oceania, Global Bio Fund is rolling out a $100 million fund to back women-led, early-stage health tech ventures. The fund, called Jaya Ventures, is backing companies with deep foundations in science and their own intellectual property. An example is Australia’s Baymatob, which is developing a monitor for postpartum hemorrhage, one of the leading causes of maternal mortality worldwide.

Appropo this week’s International Women’s Day, female fund managers dominate March’s Liist, prepared in partnership with Realize Impact. Boston-based LearnLaunch Fund + Accelerator is investing in tech startups delivering better early education and workforce training. WakeUp Capital is filling a need for early-stage equity funding among Ireland’s social enterprises. Regenera Ventures is investing in landscape regeneration across Mexico. 

Also on this month’s list: Altalurra Ventures, a Black-led venture capital fund that invests in early-stage impact tech and sustainability startups, and Lombard Odier Investment Managers’ new private credit strategy offering short-term debt to North American businesses delivering sustainable goods, services and real assets.

Disclaimer: The Liist and this post are based on available information, sourced by ImpactAlpha and our partner, Realize Impact. Information has not been further reviewed by the managers nor verified by third parties, is not guaranteed for accuracy or completeness, and should not be relied upon as investment advice or recommendations. Nothing in The Liist, this post or on shall constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities. 

Altalurra Ventures is a Black-led venture capital fund that invests in early-stage impact tech and sustainability startups. 

The fund, domiciled in Delaware, is looking to raise $50 million “to bring capital to underserved and impactful startups with social impact value-add and immediately applicable environmental and resource-preserving technologies.” 

The fund will invest across the pre-seed to Series B rounds of companies, primarily in North America, as well as companies in Europe with a strong expansion plan for the U.S. Altalurra is seeking to bring in a woman general partner to lead the fund to increase diversity. 

Altalurra has backed three companies so far, including Montreal and Paris-based impact ratings-agency impak.

Get in touch via email

Global Bio Fund is raising a $100 million fund to invest in companies supporting women’s health services worldwide. 

The fund, called Jaya Ventures, will back women-led healthtech ventures with a deep foundation in science, their own intellectual property, and B2B business models. Jaya will invest in seed to Series A equity rounds for companies in the U.S., the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.

Jaya Ventures has invested is Baymatob, an Australian medical device company with an artificial intelligence-powered monitor for women at risk of postpartum hemorrhage. The condition is responsible for a quarter of maternal deaths worldwide and 11% in the U.S.

Get in touch with Ipshita Mandal-Johnson via email.

LearnLaunch Fund + Accelerator supports early-stage ventures developing education products and services, from early-childhood to workforce development and upskilling in underserved communities. 

The Boston-based, women-led venture capital fund and accelerator invests in companies led by female founders and founders of color, including Julius, which helps clean and climate tech companies recruit and retain talent, and worker upskilling platform Empathetics.

LearnLaunch has raised $2 million toward its $10 million target. 

LearnLaunch’s fund cuts checks of $50,000 to $350,000, with companies securing a portion of the capital before starting LearnLaunch’s accelerator and the rest after completing the program and hitting other milestones. The fund makes seed and Series A investments.

Contact Tetyana Astashkina for more information.

Lombard Odier Investment Managers is rolling out a new private credit strategy that will offer short-term debt on North American businesses delivering sustainable goods, services and real assets advancing the net-zero transition.

“We’re seeing tremendous demand for investing in climate solutions providers” since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in the U.S. last year, LOIM’s Gene Getman told ImpactAlpha

The Swiss asset manager’s Sustainable Private Credit Strategy aims to give businesses “liquidity that unlocks the value they’re creating along with the resources needed for scaled demand,” Getman added. 

The Swiss asset manager is looking to raise $450 million for the five-year, closed-ended fund. It has raised $85 million, largely from European pension funds like U.K.-based Environment Agency Pension Fund. It has a hard cap of $750 million. 

LOIM Sustainable Private Credit Strategy will make loans of $25 million on average. It has backed three companies, including Dallas-based community solar and storage venture Aspen Power, and Houston-based PearlX, which installs and leases residential solar systems in the U.S.

The Luxembourg-domiciled fund is labeled as an E.U. “Article 9” fund for its sustainability and carbon reduction objectives.

Get in touch by email.

Mexico City-based New Ventures cut its teeth accelerating impact entrepreneurs in Mexico and helping to build Latin America’s impact investing ecosystem. The organization, through New Ventures Capital, Viwala and Adobe Capital (now part of Deetken Impact), has also spurred access to revenue-based financing for enterprises that need alternative kinds of financing to traditional venture equity.

Its latest development: a $20 million fund to invest in Latin American companies advancing and improving women’s health services. New Ventures wants its portfolio to reach more than two million women in the region. The fund will cut checks of $500,000 to $3 million.

New Ventures is doubling-down on revenue-based finance and structured exits because high-impact health ventures in the region will have limited geographical growth potential, and are therefore unlikely to become unicorns that give investors a big exit.

“Health services are not something you can scale easily across borders,” New Ventures Rodrigo Villar told ImpactAlpha. “Each country has different approaches to how they’re providing health services, so most businesses will have a lot of room to grow nationally but won’t be able to scale regionally.”

The fund is targeting more localized companies because of its focus on patient and customer-level impact. A popular health investment niche in Latin America at the moment is tech companies rolling out employee health and wellness apps for businesses, says Villar. These could be very scalable, financially successful businesses, “but you won’t know if that service really transformed the life of a person,” he explains. “You’re just going to find out the number of people that use the app.”

New Ventures’ women’s health fund has been in development for two years. The organization ran an ecosystem study and accelerator program in partnership with six foundations involved in women’s health in the region, including Halloran Philanthropies, Visa Foundation and Sonen Foundation.

Get in touch online

Social impact advisory firm SVX Mexico has for years been working with investors and other organizations to direct capital toward ecosystem regeneration and to support thriving communities. With the launch of Regenera Ventures, it’s now becoming a fund manager. Regenera Ventures is looking to raise $25 million to make equity investments in regenerative land projects throughout Mexico. 

Smallholder farmers are the largest collective landowners in Mexico, explains SVX Mexico’s Laura Ortiz Montemayor. They’re also the most vulnerable to climate change. 

“But they also usually have much more biodiversity [than large commercial farms] and more nutrient density and minerals in their soils,” she says. “There’s underlying wisdom that smallholder farmers have that we need to tap into.”

Most financing options for smallholder farmers and agricultural cooperatives are debt-based, supporting them on a season by season basis or small-scale growth. “That’s survival mode. That’s not going to get us biodiversity outcomes,” says Ortiz.

Regenera Ventures’ vision is to shift away from the “commoditized landscape mindset” that dominates agricultural and agro-forestry practices and help land stewards build and capture more diverse revenue streams, including agricultural products, carbon offsets, and water harvesting, while restoring biodiversity and strengthening landscapes’ resilience.

Its model is to work with a consortium of partners that includes USAID, which has contributed $9 million in technical assistance, and Conservation International, its technical assistance implementer.

Regenera is looking to impact 18,000 smallholder farmers working more than 65,000 acres of land.

Get in touch with SVX Mexico and Regenera Ventures’ Laura Ortiz Montemayor, Stevie Smyth Valdez or Mario Alberto Burgos.

WakeUp Capital is filling an unmet need for early-stage capital for Ireland’s social enterprises. 

The women-led fund is raising €50 million for its first fund to invest in tech ventures addressing climate change, biodiversity loss, sustainable food systems, plastic consumption, social inequality, and healthcare. 

“Impact investing was practically a foreign term five years ago in Ireland,” says Wakeup’s Faye Walsh Drouillard, who was a social entrepreneur in the U.S. before moving to the European island nation. “As an angel investor, I saw the deal flow, but there were almost no funds focused on this space.”

WakeUp has secured €40 million in commitments, primarily from three institutional investors in Europe.

The fund’s early portfolio includes Inclusio, a woman-led Irish HR tech company that helps companies boost workforce diversity and inclusion and track business culture improvements. MagGrow is an Irish company that helps farmers with precision crop spraying to curb overuse of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals.

The fund will invest in startups on the continent as well as in Ireland.

Get in touch via email.