ESG and Sustainability
The rise of ESG factors in investment decision making will have a dramatic impact on returns and opportunities in the 21st century. A recent survey by LGT Capital Partners and Mercer showed that 57% of respondents believe that incorporating ESG standards into investment decisions will raise returns. Just 9% argued they reduce returns on investment.
VegTech Invest advisory has launched the VegTech Plant-based Innovation & Climate ETF (Ticker: EATV), its first financial product. The ETF offers exposure to publicly traded companies actively innovating with plants and plant-derived ingredients and producing primary products that are animal-free. These companies also have a beneficial impact on the environment and solve certain pressing global problems.
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More Stories on ESG and Sustainability
On December 28, the first lithium-ion cell to have been fully designed, developed and assembled at a gigafactory by a homegrown European battery company marked Northvolt Ett’s commencement of production at its Skellefteå facility in northern Sweden. The company is a rival to Tesla’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) battery division.
Alternative Investments/(non)-ESG: The BAD Investment Company Launches ETF for Betting, Alcohol, Drugs
The BAD Investment Company has launched a new ETF as “an intriguing alternative for a new wave of retail investors who may be frustrated with aspects of the ESG movement.” The BAD ETF tracks the EQM BAD Index (BADIDX).
In what is claimed to be the largest investment round for a cultured meat startup till date, Israel-based Future Meat announced the close of its $347 million Series B round co-led by ADM Ventures, the venture investing arm of ADM (NYSE: ADM), the Menora Mivtachim pension and insurance fund which manages over $85 billion in assets, and S2G Ventures.
Venture Capital: Nicola and Andrew Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation Launches $100M Strategic Impact Fund
The Strategic Impact Fund is entirely women-led. The $100 million Strategic Impact Fund by Minderoo Foundation, owned by Nicola and Andrew Forrest, will invest in ‘impact’ projects that address issues such as gender inequality, ending modern slavery, and freeing the oceans of plastic and making them more sustainable. The fund’s investing aims to have a…
Stenon, a German agtech that is providing laboratory independent real-time soil analysis, has raised a $20 million Series A round from Founders Fund, David Friedberg’s The Production Board and existing investors including Cherry Ventures and Atlantic Labs.
The BNY Mellon Sustainable US Equity ETF (BKUS), BNY Mellon Sustainable International Equity ETF (BKIS) and BNY Mellon Sustainable Global Emerging Markets ETF (BKES) are three new actively managed, sustainable ETFs launched by BNY Mellon Investment Management this week on the New York Stock Exchange.
Alternative Investments/ESG: Goldman Sachs Launches U.S. Large Cap Equity ETF Tracking The Paris Climate Agreement
Earlier this week, Goldman Sachs Asset Management launched the Goldman Sachs ActiveBeta Paris-Aligned Climate U.S. Large Cap Equity ETF (GPAL). The ETF may be attractive to investors seeking equity exposure colored with responsibility towards climate change and carbon emissions in line with Paris Agreement targets.
French privacy watchdog Commission Nationale Informatique & Libertes (CNIL) has deemed the facial recognition start-up Clearview AI to be in default of the privacy laws of the country because it unlawfully collected and used the personal/biometric data of the French people in the absence of a legal basis, and did not comply with individuals’ rights to access or delete their data.
Norwest Venture Partners, the Silicon Valley-based VC firm, closed on Norwest Venture Partners XVI, LP, a $3 billion fund to finance “paradigm-shifting” business across the consumer, enterprise and healthcare sectors. The announcement of the new fund, its biggest so far, coincided with the firm’s introduction of an ESG policy in parallel with its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
J.P. Morgan Asset Management (JPMAM) announced Tuesday the launch of its first active, sustainable ETF that will give investors exposure to companies addressing the huge challenge of climate change and are poised to benefit from it. The JPMorgan Climate Change Solutions ETF (TEMP) will invest in companies that are producing less carbon-intensive energy such as wind or solar power; improving the electric grid; investing in less carbon-intensive forms of agriculture, construction, or transportation; or developing technologies to reduce waste.
Annie Ryu discovered the jackfruit and its meat substitute potential while working in India as a pre-med student in 2011. She has since succeeded in building Jack & Annie’s into a leading vegan frozen food brand that just announced its $23 million Series B funding round led by Creadev, Desert Bloom, Wheatsheaf, and existing investors Beta Angeles and Investco.
The topic of the debate: ‘This house believes that AI will never be ethical.’ An AI tool debating on the above topic has issued a blunt warning that AI will never be ethical. And it should know: It was trained on 63 million news articles, Wikipedia and Reddit Discourse. The AI tool, which has the…
London-based fintech Twig describes itself as “the next generation banking, powering the circular economy,” that enables you “to turn your things into cash, instantly.” In a strategic move designed to broaden its offerings, Twig announced Friday its acquisition of Loopster, a marketplace that pays upfront for clean, unwanted clothes. Like Twig, Loopster encourages customers to join the circular economy and close the loop between use and reuse of clothes.
In protest against human rights abuses against Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang, the US is likely to place SenseTime, the Chinese AI company, on an investment blacklist, the Financial Times reported Thursday. Washington will take the action against SenseTime on Friday, on the occasion of Human Rights Day, and alongside similar steps against a host of other countries, sources familiar with the matter told the FT.
Mambu is valued at more than $5.3 billion after $266 million Series E raise. SaaS banking platform Mambu raised €235 million (about $266 million) in a Series E round led by EQT Growth that valued the company at €4.9 billion post money (~$5.3 billion). The funding marked the largest ever financing round for a banking…
BlocPower, a Brooklyn-based energy technology startup focused on decarbonization of buildings and cities, received a $5.5 million grant from the Bezos Earth Fund. The amount was part of new donations of $443 million that the Fund disbursed to various climate and environmental groups this week.
Artificial Intelligence: Controversial AI Company Clearview To Nab Patent For “A Search Engine For Faces”
Clearview AI, the company that has been under fire from governments, tech giants and privacy advocacy organizations for scraping facial images from social media, is on the cusp of bagging a patent for a “search engine for faces” that can roam the internet to find matches.
Former tennis star Maria Sharapova has picked up an undisclosed stake in Public.com, an investing platform that has more than 1 million users, 90% of which are first time investors. In a nod towards promoting financial literacy, Sharapova said she appreciated how Public broke down the category into simple, educational, user-friendly steps to make investing less intimidating, and helped users take control of their finances more confidently.
El Salvador’s leading ecologist Ricardo Navarro, who runs a non-governmental organization CESTA (Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technology), said in an interview with the Telegraph that President Nayib Bukele’s plans to use geothermal and volcanic energy to mine bitcoin were ill-advised.
Porsche, the German car maker, has taken a stake in Hamburg-based startup 1KOMMA5° through its venture finance arm, Porsche Ventures. The startup seeks to boost the rollout of presently decentralized technologies related to renewable energy and mobility for homes by knitting together electrical installation entrepreneurs and companies onto a networking platform. 1KOMMA5° will also support them with technology for digitizing their business and centralization of admin tasks, as well as provide growth capital.
Venture Capital: Commonwealth Fusion Systems Raises $1.8B To Build The SPARC Net Energy Fusion Machine
Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS), the Cambridge-based startup developing fusion power plants to meet global decarbonization goals, has closed a $1.8 billion Series B round led by Tiger Global Management and included new investors such as Bill Gates, John Doerr, Google, and Marc Benioff’s TIME Ventures.
Singapore’s United Overseas Bank ( UOB ) Asset Management has launched the UOB APAC Green REIT ETF (GRE SP), which has been listed on Singapore Exchange and provides ESG-tilted exposure to high-yielding real estate investment trusts (REITs) listed in Asia Pacific and Oceania. The fund is said to be the first of its kind in the world that brings investors access to sustainable investments in real estate in the region.
Farmers Business Network (FBN) is a farmer-to-farmer network launched in 2014 as an information source and for sharing of agronomic precision data. It now has thousands of farmer-members managing millions of acres of land across the world. FBN announced last week its $300 million Series G funding led by Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC with participation from LN Mittal Family Office, ADM Ventures Investment Corp., Colle Capital Partners, Walleye Capital, and Tudor Investment Corporation.