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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Alternative Investments/ESG: VegTech Invest Launches Plant-Based Innovation & Climate ETF

January 4, 2022

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

Venture Capital: Swedish Battery Maker Northvolt Rolls Out Its Inaugural Li-Ion Cell

December 29, 2021

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

December 23, 2021

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).

Venture Capital: Israel’s Future Meat Raises $347M To Build US Facility

December 23, 2021

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

December 22, 2021

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…

Venture Capital: Stenon, Which Is Out To Disrupt Labs For Soil Testing, Nabs $20M

December 21, 2021

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.

Alternative Investments/ESG: BNY Mellon Launches Trio Of Active, Transparent, Equity ESG ETFs

December 17, 2021

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

December 17, 2021

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.

Artificial Intelligence: French Regulator Cracks Down On Clearview AI With Order To Delete Data

December 17, 2021

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.

Venture Capital: European Vertical Farming Startup Infarm Raises $200M, Including From The Qatar Wealth Fund

December 16, 2021

Infarm’s vertical farming technology uses 95% less water, 90% less transport and zero chemical pesticide. Infarm, the fast-growing Dutch vertical farming startup, raised a $200 million Series D round that launched it into ‘unicorn’ status. The Qatar Investment Authority, Partners in Equity, Hanaco, Atomico, Lightrock, and Bonnier and other existing and new investors participated in…

Venture Capital: Norwest Venture Closes On $3B Fund NVP XVI

December 15, 2021

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.

Alternative Investments/ESG: J.P. Morgan Asset Management Launches Climate Change ETF

December 15, 2021

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.

Venture Capital: Jack & Annie’s Raises $23M For “Meat” From The Jackfruit Plant

December 14, 2021

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.

Artificial Intelligence: “AI Will Never Be Ethical,” Says An AI Tool In A Debate

December 14, 2021

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…

FinTech: Circular Economy-Focused Twig Buys Loopster, A Marketplace For Pre-Loved Clothing

December 13, 2021

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.

Artificial Intelligence: Chinese AI Company And IPO-Hopeful SenseTime To Land Up On US Blacklist

December 10, 2021

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.

FinTech: Mambu Scores Largest Private Fundraise For A Banking Platform

December 10, 2021

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…

Venture Capital: Urban Clean Energy Startup BlocPower Gets $5.5M From The Bezos Earth Fund

December 8, 2021

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”

December 7, 2021

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.

Venture Capital: Investing Platform Public.com Now Has Tennis Star Maria Sharapova On Board

December 6, 2021

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.

Digital Assets: El Salvador Ecologist Warns Of Disaster Mix From Bitcoin, Volcanos, And Drug Lords

December 6, 2021

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.

Venture Capital: Porsche Buys A Stake In Sustainable Homes-Focused Startup 1KOMMA5°

December 3, 2021

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

December 2, 2021

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.

Alternative Investments/Real Estate: UOB Launches APAC-Focused, Green REIT ETF

November 30, 2021

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.

Venture Capital: Agtech And Farmer-To-Farmer Platform FBN Raises $300M

November 24, 2021

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.