The Brief | December 17, 2021

The Week in Impact Investing: Multiracial

The team at


TGIF, Agents of Impact! It’s that time of year where we look back on our coverage for the year to look ahead for signals of what’s to come in 2022. We kick off this season’s “look aheads” with The Reconstruction below. Look out for more next week.

The Week in Impact Investing: Multiracial

🗣️The Reconstruction in 2022: Seizing the moment to build multiracial prosperity and democracy. A bottom-up and top-down mobilization to rewrite rules, redistribute power and redress injustice can turn disruption and division into renewal and reconciliation. How do we know? Because it has happened before. All year, as ImpactAlpha has covered efforts to address systemic change and redress systemic racism, we have been drawn back to the historical Reconstruction, the period after the Civil War when, as playwright Gene Bruskin says, America almost did the right thing.”

We looked back to look ahead in this week’s Agents of Impact Call: The Reconstruction This Time (catch the video replay). Monique Aiken, host of ImpactAlpha’s podcast series, The Reconstructionreflected on two dozen conversations connected by the words: Rethink. Redress. Liberate. Dennis Price rounded up the elements of “Reconstruction investing,” starting with changes in the power relationships around capital. And David Bank traveled to the starting point of Reconstruction to glean some lessons from the Port Royal Experiment. 

🎧 Impact Briefing. Roundtable regulars Imogen Rose-Smith and David Bank join host Brian Walsh to take on diversity in institutional asset management (catch up on Imogen’s latest column here), while Resilience Capital’s Gillian Marcelle and 1863 Ventures’ Melissa Bradley challenge impact investors to walk the talk. Plus, the headlines. Follow us on AppleSpotify or wherever you listen.

The Week’s Dealflow

Spotlight: Catalytic capital for emerging markets. Guarantees, first-loss reserves and other forms of catalytic capital are expanding access to capital for health services, women-focused enterprises and agribusinesses in emerging markets. Canada’s Cross-Border Impact Ventures secured a guarantee from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency to invest in healthtech solutions that can be deployed for underserved populations in emerging markets. Singapore-based Impact Investment Exchange Women’s Catalyst Fund provided first-loss capital for its fourth Women’s Livelihood Bond, which will back social enterprises impacting women and girls in India, Indonesia, Cambodia and the Philippines.

  • Opening markets in AfricaAceli Africa, which provides a first-loss cushion to agribusiness lenders, secured donor commitments of $27 million. In Nigeria, Medical Credit Fund secured a guarantee from the U.S. International Development Finance Corp. for its loan fund for private clinics in Africa.

Electrify everything. An EV laggard, Toyota commits $35 billion to all-electric vehicles by 2030… Harley-Davidson rides into an electric future with LiveWire spin-off… India’s Exponent Energy scores $5 million to develop fast-charging batteries and stations for electric vehicles… Sweden’s Candela scores €24 million ($27.2 million), led by EQT Ventures, to scale production for its hydro-foiling electric boats… Battery Future Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company targeting companies accelerating the shift from fossil fuels to electrification, raises $300 million.

Climate finance. Weather forecasting company to go public via SPAC… Closed Loop Partners’ second venture fund raises $50 million to invest in growth-stage companies developing breakthrough circular economy solutions… Hippo Harvest, which uses machine learning and robotics to optimize greenhouse growing systems, raises $11 million from Congruent Ventures, Amazon Climate Pledge Fund, Collaborative Fund and Energy Impact Partners.

Returns on inclusion. SoftBank Vision Fund’s accelerator allocates $8.7 million to nine European startups led by underrepresented founders… Amazon launches accelerator program for affordable housing developers of color… Equitable Facilities Fund secures $300 million to finance Black schools leaders.

Decarbonization. Mirova will manage a €50 million ($56.6 million) carbon sequestration fund on behalf of French telecommunications company Orange… Carbon America scores $30 million to capture and sequester carbon… Generate backs Amp Americas to convert dairy waste into renewable natural gas.

Smallholder farmers. Climate insurance tech startup IBISA scores €1.5 million ($1.7 million) to insure smallholder farmers in India, Niger and the Philippines… AgroStar secures $70 million to add stores for India’s farmers.

Clean energy. Shell acquires U.S. solar and energy-storage developer Savion as part of its mandate to reach net-zero emissions by 2050… KGAL secures €260 million ($294.2 million) for a pan-European renewable energy impact fund.

Community finance. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Vice President Kamala Harris announce nearly $9 billion in investments in community development financial institutions and minority depository institutions through the Emergency Capital Investment Program.

Impact tech. Rise Fund and Spectrum Equity acquire a majority stake in edtech venture PresenceLearning… Bangalore-based Open, a Google-backed neobank for small businesses, acquires Finin, which helps consumers in India save and invest money.

Innovative finance. Beneficial Returns makes impact-linked loans to Indonesian coconut-sugar producer Aliet Green and Altitud, a microlender for women-led sewing businesses in Mexico.

Fund news. Private equity firm Hamilton Lane receives nearly $200 million in commitments for its second impact fund.

The Week’s Talent

Allison Binns, ex- of  Morgan Stanley, is named head of environmental, social and governance and sustainable investing strategies at Angelo Gordon… Mia Diawara, ex- of TPG’s Y Analytics, joins Lowercarbon Capital as partner… Denise Scott is named president of LISC; Lisa Glover continues as interim CEO… Andy Will is promoted to principal at Zeal Capital Partners… Lydie Hudson is exiting Credit Suisse, where she was CEO of sustainability, research and investment solutions… 

Amanda Glincher, ex- of Fiserv, joins CNote as director of marketing. Tamra Thetford, ex- of Justine Petersen, is the impact platform’s new director of impact evaluation… Jason Martinez, previously with Tupper Lake Partners, joins Pickering Energy Partners to lead its energy transition advisory practice… Monica Ravi, ex- of Commerce Bancshares, joins North Sky Capital as an associate with the firm’s impact secondaries practice.

The Week’s Jobs

Georgetown University’s Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovationseeks a deputy director… Kresge Foundationseeks a portfolio manager for its social investing team… Kensington Corridor Trust is hiring a project manager in Philadelphia… Boston Ujima Project is recruiting a fund administrator… Dalberg is hiring a community of practice program manager for the Americas… Arctaris Impact Investors seeks applicants for its private equity analyst program and for a private equity operations analyst… 

Great Lakes Protection Fund is hiring a communications manager… Yunus Social Business is looking for an investment and portfolio manager in India… Ford Foundation is looking for an impact investing fellow in New York… Santa Clara University is hiring a director of corporate and foundation relations in Santa Clara, Calif… Faith Invest seeks an investment solutions officer… Hispanics in Philanthropy is looking for a remote, U.S.-based venture or senior venture associate.

That’s a wrap. Have a wonderful weekend.

– Dec 17, 2021