ESG in VC Insights
Hello ESG in VC followers,
Welcome to the 1st edition of ESG in VC Insights. Curated with 🖤 every month by ESG in VC team.
ESG in the News
DWS, Deutsche Bank’s asset management division, was accused of misleading investors about ESG factors in its financial products with police raiding their office in Germany.
‘ESG echo effect’, occurs when company ESG claims and public sentiment about their activities on social media, feeds into algorithms based on artificial intelligence and machine learning that are increasingly deployed by ratings agencies to score the ESG performance of companies. In other words, the ESG echo effect means that “the more a company markets its ESG disclosures, the better its ESG ratings are likely to be’, research by Marc Lepere and King's College London shows.
Tesla loses its spot on the S&P 500 ESG Index due to concerns over labour practices, discrimination, and crashes; Musk brands ESG as a “scam” prompting some to ask if ESG rating agencies do enough to clarify their role in assessing business risk rather than impact?
Papa John’s now to provide ESG-tied bonuses to all full-time corporate team members; While more firms continue to do so, risks remain as ESG pay incentives are difficult to assess and are rarely disclosed.
Significant gender pay gaps remain among UK FinTech unicorns; While Monzo has shown improvement, Revolut continues to operate with major imbalances.
Growing demand for cobalt, in part driven by rising demand for renewable energy and electric vehicles, raises ethical concerns.
Head of Responsible Investment as HSBC Asset Management is suspended after criticizing what he referred to as hyperbolic language used to describe climate change… “Who cares if Miami is six meters underwater in 100 years?”
The Regulation Report
The SEC fines BYN Mellon over allegedly misstating and omitting ESG investment considerations in the first lawsuit of its kind
Australia now better positioned to combat climate change upon election of Labour Party candidate, Anthony Albanese, as PM
The UK formally launches task force to assist in overseeing its climate transition initiatives
European Union passes partial ban on Russian oil imports, immediately covering two-thirds of imported oil
Noteworthy Raises in “E”
Bike Club, an England-based circular economy bike platform for children’s bike and scooters, raises £16.75 million of venture funding led by Codex Capital Partners and Circularity Capital
Carbon Clean, a London-based developer of carbon capture technologies, raises $150 million Series C round led by Chevron Technology Ventures
Foodsteps, a London-based FoodTech platform designed to calculate, reduce and label the environmental impact of food, raised a $4.1 million seed round led by Octopus Ventures
Seabound, a London-based developer of carbon capture technologies intended to attach to cargo ships’ smokestacks, raised a $4.4 million seed round led by Lowercarbon Capital
Roetz, an Amsterdam-based provider of circular economy electric bikes, raises €1.8 million of development capital from Veth Investments
Solithor, a Belgium-based developer of solid-state lithium battery technology, raised €10 million seed round led by imec.xpand
Zolar, a Berlin-based developer of solar energy systems for homeowners, raises €105 million Series C round led by Energy Impact Partners and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation
Ecosapiens, a San Francisco-based developer of Web3/NFT platform to help consumers fight climate change, raised $1.5MM led by Boost VC
Salient Predictions, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based developer of weather prediction software for the energy sector, raises a $6MM seed round
Sustain.Life, a Jersey City-based developer of sustainability management software aims to allow businesses to better track emissions throughout their supply chains; The firm raised a $16 million seed round led by Tapestry
The Crop Project, a Brooklyn, NY-based producer of regenerative crops beginning with kelp, raised $1.5MM of seed funding led by Norfolk Green Ventures
Urban Footprint, a Berkeley, CA-based urban intelligence platform designed to streamline infrastructure, mobility, and emergency-response decision making, raises $25 million Series B led by Citi Ventures and Social Capital
Noteworthy Raises in “S”
HealthTech and AI start-up, Cydar Medical, a UK-based developer of cloud-based imaging overlay system seeks to revolutionize minimally invasive surgery and improve patient outcomes; The start-up raised £3 million from Pembroke Venture Capital Trust
Blockchain and Web3 Education start-up, Encode Club, a London-based platform for blockchain education raises a $5 million seed round led by Galaxy Digital Holdings and Lemniscap
Bio-Tech start-up, Altos Labs, a California-based developer of medicine to restore cell health and resilience, raises £3 billion of venture funding from Foresite Capital Management; The firm’s focus on cellular rejuvenation programming is aiming to develop a new approach to medicine, based on the emerging concept of cellular health
EdTech start-up, Parallel Learning, a learning assessment platform designed to diagnose and empower students with learning differences, raises a $20 million Series A round led by Tiger Global Management
FemTech and HealthTech start-up, Mirvie, a San Francisco-based platform making pregnancy safer for moms and families, raises $60 million Series B round led by Decheng Capital
HR Tech start-up, Atma, an Indonesian-based social job platform, raises an oversubscribed $5MM pre-seed round led by AC Ventures; The start-up specializes in helping find jobs for low and mid-income earning individuals
Blockchain and Web3 Start-Up, Lumos Labs, a Signapore-based developer-centric platform aiming to increase access to Web3 ecosystem opportunities, raises a $1.1 million seed round led by Delta Blockchain Fund
EdTech start-up, FoondaMate, South African-based platform and developer of chatbots intended to provide access to online education for those with limited internet, raises $2 million of seed funding led by LocalGlobe
Noteworthy Raises in “G”
Nossa Data, a London-based ESG and data management platform aims to help companies streamline their ESG reporting; The start-up raised a £1.2 million seed round led by BGF and Symvan Capital
We’re always on the lookout for new start-ups addressing governance challenges – If you know of any you think should be highlighted, please reach out!
Latest Funds Announcements
Co-founded by former US Vice-President Al Gore, Generation Investment Management, raises $1.7 billion for its 4th sustainability fund to pursue investments in the future of work, food and agriculture, and supply chain, among other sectors
Unilever, AXA, and Tikehau have committed €300 million to launch an impact fund focused on regenerative agriculture transition
Chaired by former Goldman Sachs AM, Northern Gritstone raises £215 million VC fund to combat the UK’s regional wealth gap
Emerald Technology Ventures raises €250 million European Transformation Fund primarily from institutional investors; Funds to be deployed across industrial technology, energy, water, food, mobility, robotics, advanced materials, and packaging
Madrid-based Seaya Ventures raises Andromeda, a €300 million Venture Capital fund aiming to tackle sustainability challenges through investments in GreenTech, Circular Economy, Agritech, and Sustainable Food Value Chains