Hedge Funds

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.

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Venture Capital/ESG: Adam Neumann Co-Founded Flowcarbon Raises $70M Via VC Funding And Token Sale

May 25, 2022

Flowcarbon, co-founded by Adam Neumann, known for WeWork, is a climate technology company seeking to formalize the market for carbon offsets on the blockchain. The startup announced Tuesday its $70 million fundraise comprising token sales and a $32 million Series A round led by a16z crypto and including General Catalyst, Samsung Next, Invesco Private Capital, 166 2nd, Sam and Ashley Levinson, Kevin Turen, RSE Ventures, and Allegory Labs. Notable names that participated in the token sale included Fifth Wall, Box Group, and the Celo Foundation.

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More Stories on ESG and Sustainability

Venture Capital: Al Gore-Led Generation Investment Launches $1.7B Sustainability Fund

May 18, 2022

ESG-focused Generation Investment, which has $36 billion of assets under management, on Wednesday launched a $1.7 billion fund titled Sustainable Solutions Fund IV. This fund, the largest so far from Generation, plans to “invest $50 million to $150 million as active minority investors in high-growth companies that are shifting industries toward sustainability.”

Artificial Intelligence: Israel Testing AI-Controlled Floating Solar Panels

May 17, 2022

Israel’s Finance Ministry and the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) said in a joint statement Sunday that they planned to test a floating solar system that would generate electricity by tracking the sun. According to the statement, XFloat, an Israeli company that developed the system, would jointly conduct the pilot trials with the Mekorot national water company.

Alternative Investments/ESG: A New ETF From KraneShares Provides Exposure To Carbon Offsets

May 16, 2022

Asset management firm Krane Funds Advisors launched the KraneShares Global Carbon Offset Strategy ETF (NYSEARCA: KSET) on the New York Stock Exchange on April 27. The ETF provides investors with exposure to the voluntary carbon market by tracking carbon offset futures contracts traded on the CME, the largest derivative exchange in the world.

Digital Assets: NASA, Epic Games And Buendea Partner To Develop Martian Metaverse Via Game Challenge

May 10, 2022

NASA, Fortnite creator Epic Games, and virtual reality specialists Buendea have together launched a competition challenge to create a new Virtual Reality (XR) research, development, and testing environment to help prepare for the experiences and situations that will be encountered on Mars. This simulated Martian metaverse will call on developers to use Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5 to create new virtual assets and scenarios for the Mars XR Operations Support System (XOSS) environment.

Alternative Investments/ESG: State Street Global Advisors Introduces Paris Aligned Climate ETFs Supported By Early Investor UCLA

May 9, 2022

State Street Global Advisors have launched the SPDR MSCI USA Climate Paris Aligned ETF (NZUS) and SPDR MSCI ACWI Climate Paris Aligned ETF (NZAC) that are intended to help investors achieve thier climate ambitions. The ETFs are geared toward the growing number of investors interested in addressing climate change in their portfolios, both to mitigate climate risk and to invest in climate solutions.

Venture Capital: Battery Active Materials Producer Group14 Raises $400M In Porsche-Led Round

May 4, 2022

Group14 Technologies is a global manufacturer and supplier of advanced silicon-carbon technology for lithium-silicon batteries that would “enable the electrification of everything.” It announced today its successful $400 million Series C round of funding led by Porsche AG (ETR: PAH3) with participation from OMERS Capital Markets, Decarbonization Partners, Riverstone Holdings LLC, Vsquared Ventures, Moore Strategic Ventures, and other large institutional investors.

Alternative Investments/ESG: RBC iShares Launches Four Megatrend ETFs

May 3, 2022

RBC iShares has expanded its ETFs suite with the launch of four new Megatrend ETFs focused on the transformational themes of exponential technologies, clean energy, immunology and healthcare, and cybersecurity.

Artificial Intelligence: AI Helps Identify An Enzyme That Eats Up Climate-Choking Plastics

May 3, 2022

Engineers and scientists at the University of Texas, Austin, have used machine learning to create FAST-PETase, an enzyme variant that can break down plastic waste in a matter of hours or days at lower temperatures. Plastic waste is a serious environmental problem because it is generated in quantities of billions of tonnes, piles up in deadly landfills, pollutes land and oceans, and takes centuries to degrade.

Venture Capital: Aerones Lands $9M Seed Round For Wind Turbine Inspector Robots

April 28, 2022

Aerones, the Latvian startup that makes wind turbine inspection a snap with its proprietary robots, has raised $9 million in seed funding to further accelerate the global scaling of its robotic wind turbine maintenance and inspection services.

Alternative Investments/Digital: BlackRock Launches Thematic ETFs On FoodTech And Blockchain

April 28, 2022

BlackRock has launched the iShares Emergent Food and AgTech Multisector ETF (IVEG) and the iShares Blockchain and Tech ETF (IBLC) as a part of its Megatrends range of products.
“The expansion of our megatrends line-up today reflects the power of the millennial and rise of the self-directed investor, whose buying habits have reshaped mainstream consumer behaviors, and in turn, the companies in which they invest,” said Rachel Aguirre, Head of U.S. iShares Product at BlackRock. “We believe the moment is now to embrace these forward-looking investment themes before the market recognizes their full potential.”

Venture Capital: Solar Energy Provider Sun King Raises $260M

April 27, 2022

Sun King, the world’s largest off-grid solar energy company that has powered the homes of over 82 million people across Africa and Asia, announced its $260 million Series D raise led by BeyondNetZero, the climate investing venture of General Atlantic, along with M&G Investments’ Catalyst team and Arch Emerging Markets Partners.

Alternative Investments/ESG: FlexShares Launches EM Equities ETF With ESG Focus

April 26, 2022

Northern Trust’s FlexShares Exchange Traded Funds has introduced a new sustainable and low carbon ETF investing in emerging market (EM) equities. The new ETF, the FlexShares ESG & Climate Emerging Markets Core Index Fund (FEEM), is an expansion of FlexShares’ bouquet of climate-friendly ETFs launched in September and including U.S. large cap equities, developed markets ex-U.S. equities, and two fixed-income ETFs.

Venture Capital/ESG: XPRIZE And Musk Foundation Hand Out $15M To Carbon Removal Teams

April 25, 2022

In celebration of Earth Day, XPRIZE and Musk Foundation awarded $1 million each as a milestone prize to 15 teams in the $100M XPRIZE Carbon Removal competition in recognition of their efforts to date and support their continued work to scale solutions.

Alternative Investments/ESG: HSBC Launches Europe ex UK Sustainable Equity Ucits ETF

April 25, 2022

HSBC Asset Management has introduced a Europe ex UK Sustainable Equity Ucits ETF, classified as an Article 8 product under the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). The HSBC Europe ex UK Sustainable Equity UCITS ETF expands its sustainable range after the recent launches of the firm’s Paris Aligned Benchmark and fixed income sustainable ranges.

Digital Assets: Algorand Launches Self-Sustaining Smart Contract To Automate Carbon Offsets

April 22, 2022

Algorand, the blockchain network that was designed from the ground up to be energy-efficient, will implement the first smart contract to automate the offsetting of carbon emissions. The smart contract automatically allocates a portion of every transaction fee to offset its carbon emissions.

Alternative Investments/ESG: New Japanese ESG Equity ETF Gets EUR 300M From Varma

April 21, 2022

Finnish pension insurance company Varma has invested EUR 300 million in the NEXT FUNDS Solactive Japan ESG Core Index ETF that was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on April 8. The ETF, custom-designed for Varma, is the largest ever environmentally responsible ETF to be listed in Japan.

Venture Capital: AWS Launches $30M Accelerator Fund For Underrepresented Entrepreneurs

April 21, 2022

Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com, Inc. company (NASDAQ: AMZN), has earmarked a spend of $30 million over three years to support early-stage startups led by Black, Latino, LGBTQIA+, and women founders. The AWS Impact Accelerator will invest up to $225,000 in the form of combined cash and credits, and provide training, mentoring, and technical guidance, as well as introductions to Amazon leaders and teams, networking opportunities with investors, and advisory support.

Venture Capital: Air Company, Which Makes Carbon-Negative Vodka From Air, Scores $30M Raise

April 20, 2022

In 2019, carbon technology startup Air Company launched Air Vodka, the world’s first alcoholic beverage made directly from carbon dioxide. The company announced Tuesday its Series A funding of $30 million led by Carbon Direct Capital Management with participation from Toyota Ventures, JetBlue Technology Ventures, and Parley for the Oceans.

Alternative Investments/ESG: Low Carbon Singapore Companies Now In An ETF Wrapper

April 18, 2022

A new ETF that focuses on Singapore companies with low carbon intensity is being launched by OCBC Securities and Lion Global Investors on April 28, becoming the first such ETF in Singapore.

Alternative Investments/Real Estate: Global X Launches Green Building ETF

April 18, 2022

Global X has launched a new Green Building ETF that will allow investors exposure to the theme of rising global demand for environmentally-friendly buildings. With buildings responsible for up to 38% of energy-related carbon emissions globally and 50% of all extracted materials, green buildings are key to reducing building-related emissions and improving urban resiliency in the face of climate change.

Alternative Investments/ESG: Fidelity Launches Five Fixed Income Sustainable Funds And ETFs

April 14, 2022

Fidelity Investments has strengthens its suite of sustainable fixed income funds with the launch of five new fixed income sustainable funds and ETFs – Fidelity Sustainable Core Plus Bond Fund (FIAEX), Fidelity Sustainable Core Plus Bond ETF (FSBD), Fidelity Sustainable Low Duration Bond Fund (FAPGX), Fidelity Sustainable Low Duration Bond ETF (FSLD), and Fidelity Sustainable Intermediate Municipal Income Fund (FSIKX).

Venture Capital/ESG: Stripe And Big Techs Launch $925M Worth Of ‘Advance Market Commitment’ For Carbon Capture Startups

April 12, 2022

Fintech giant Stripe is joining hands with several tech companies, including Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and Meta (NASDAQ: FB) to form Frontier, which will spend nearly $1 billion to assure product offtake from carbon capture startups. Shopify (NYSE: SHOP) and McKinsey are also chipping in. Frontier will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Stripe.

Alternative Investments/ESG: BlackRock Launches Four New Sector ESG ETFs

April 12, 2022

BlackRock listed the iShares MSCI World Materials Sector ESG UCITS ETF (WMTS), the iShares MSCI World Industrials Sector ESG UCITS ETF (WINS), the iShares World Energy Sector ESG UCITS ETF (WENE) and the iShares MSCI World Communication Services Sector ESG UCITS ETF (WCMS) on the Euronext Amsterdam on April 11.

Venture Capital: MyForest Foods Raises $15M Venture Loan To Scale Plant-Based Bacon

April 11, 2022

MyForestFoods, previously known as Atlast, has secured venture loan financing from Connecticut’s Horizon Technology Finance Corporation and a private investment vehicle connected to Horizon, to scale up its production of mycelium-based bacon. The investors funded $7.5 million each.