Impact Investing Newsflow: February 2023 edition
Jump to each section:
- Notable impact finance deals
- Impact funds to watch
- Initiatives and advocacy
- Research and publications on our radar
- Investor impact reports
NOTABLE IMPACT FINANCE DEALS
- Global: Airbnb founder Joe Gebbia has donated $25m to The Ocean Cleanup, a social enterprise that works to remove plastic from the oceans, AP reported.
- UK: Social enterprise New Leaf Initiative, which supports people with convictions to move away from crime and into work, has raised £100,000 in social investment from Sumerian Foundation to launch its own recruitment agency to help connect its clients with work opportunities.
- Read more: Turn off the tap! The river robots that fight ocean plastic
- UK: The Church of England’s Social Impact Investment Programme has made a £1.1m investment in Charity Bank (taking a 3.6% stake), enabling the specialist bank to make more than £8.8m in new loans to charities, social enterprises and faith based organisations.
- Netherlands: Sustainable smartphone manufacturer Fairphone has raised €49m in equity investment to accelerate its growth and scale its impact. A consortium of impact investors included government-backed Invest-NL, the ABN AMRO Sustainable Impact Fund and Quadia’s Regenero Impact Fund.
- Read more: Fairphone founder: Drop ‘all the legacy shit’ and shake up systems post-Covid
- India: Ecozen, a startup that develops technology to decarbonise the agricultural sector and improve the lives of farmers, has raised US$25m of combined equity and debt capital from investors including Nuveen, Dare Ventures and the Export-Import Bank of India.
- Global: Seaweed farming company Ocean Rainforest has raised US$6.2m to expand its farming operations and develop new products to continue providing low-carbon, nutritious foods and feeds. Investors include the Grantham Foundation, Katapult Ocean's Deep Blue Fund and WWF’s World Wildlife Fund among others.
IMPACT FUNDS TO WATCH
- Global: Blue economy impact fund Ocean 14 has secured a €30m investment from Ingka Investments, the investment arm of IKEA franchisee Ingka Group.
- India: Belgian impact investor Incofin has closed its India Progress Fund at US$77m to invest in financial inclusion and the agri-food value chain in the Indian rural economy.
- Europe: Rivage Investment has launched Euclides, an impact fund that will mainly provide growth debt to SMEs specialising in innovative climate solutions across Europe. The European Investment Fund, backed by the InvestEU programme of Covid-19 recovery financing, is a cornerstone investor in the fund with €30m committed. Euclides targets a €250m final size.
- Global: Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has announced the launch of a $50m Global Climate Resilience Fund that will support women and communities to fight climate change and help provide new livelihood resources and education, the Economic Times reports. Backers include the Clinton Global Initiative.
- Netherlands: Impact investor StartGreen Capital has launched its sixth fund, the StartGreen Transition Fund, which will invest in regional clean energy projects in the Netherlands, targeting a €200m fund size.
- Canada: Raven Indigenous Capital Partners has closed its Impact Fund II at CA$100. The fund will provide patient capital and support to purpose-driven enterprises led by Native Americans.
- South America: Impact investor Amazonia Impact Ventures has launched a US$25m funding round to invest in initiatives led by indigenous communities to protect the Amazon rainforest; it aims to reach 100,000 people and protect 1m hectares of rainforest in the next five years.
INITIATIVES AND ADVOCACY
- Global: FaithInvest, a global membership association and network for faith asset owners, and the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of Evangelical churches reaching 600m Christians, have launched a collaboration to increase faith-consistent investing globally to achieve a more just and sustainable world.
- Read more about faith-based investing in our dedicated collection
- Europe: As many as 200 people representing 120 European venture capital firms have signed up to ImpactVC, a new initiative to boost investment in impact startups. Read the full story on Pioneers Post.
RESEARCH AND PUBLICATIONS ON OUR RADAR
- Global: Advisory firm McKinsey’s Institute for Black Economic Mobility has published A Guide to Impact Investing in Black Economic Mobility to support the growth of Black-owned businesses and increase opportunities for Black communities.
- Global: Phenix Capital has published its latest Impact Fund Universe Report, looking at the state of the impact investing market at the end of 2022. The research, which encompassesimpact funds targeting risk-adjusted market-rate returns – and excludes investments accepting low risk-adjusted returns – found that €539bn has been committed to those investments to date.
- Global: The Global Impact Investing Network has published a paper on the impact of Covid-19 on investments in financial inclusion – financial services aimed at underserved people who would otherwise struggle to access banking products.
- Global: Global asset manager American Century Investments has published its sixth survey on impact investing, looking at the general population’s perception of impact investing in five countries – US, UK, Germany, Australia and Singapore. It finds impact investing is becoming increasingly appealing, but a gender gap persists, with men more likely to say they are interested in impact investing than women in all countries surveyed.
- Global: 65% of institutional investors report engaging in sustainable or impact investing – an 80% increase on 2018 figures – according to new research by global investment firm Cambridge Associates.
INVESTOR IMPACT REPORTS
- UK: The Access Foundation has published the evaluation of its Covid-19 emergency lending programme, showing five social investors distributed more than £5.5m in grants to 70 organisations, enabling them to take on loans worth a total £21m.
- UK: Social Investment Business has published its 2021-22 impact report, showing the social investor disbursed £5.9m in grants and loans across 217 organisations.
Top picture: Mayor Andy Street visits New Leaf social enterprise, which secured £100,000 in social investment. Courtesy of New Leaf.
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