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SPACs and the UN Sustainable Development Goals part two

  1. PART II: SPACs and the UN Global Goals: Inclusive Impact Investing for the Global Agenda! Another dive into the wonderful world of SPACs Special Purpose Aquisition Corporations and their potential to accelerate impact. Specifically the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Riding the 2020 Tech Surf ll’look at SPACs & Impact Themes such as Sustainability, (Fin)Tech, Healthcare & Wellbeing, Societal Infrastructure, Renewables (Energy), (Plant based) Food & Beverages. Please Note that (E)Sports are mostly a couchbased activity. SPACs are blank check companies raising capital based on theme(s), track records or reputation of the fundraisers. SPACs themselves are inclusive investment opportunities For both investors: sold at on average 10$ and investees: fast (Direct Listing via merger/acquisition instead of IPO) & cheap access to (growth, transformation, exit) capital. A Sustainable Development SPAC A strong case that the SPACs movement accelerates the Sustainable Development Goals is the #SDAC SPAC: Sustainable Development Acquisition Corporation by RenewableResources Group. It is a Capricon Investment Group company: an impact investing pioneer & ambassador founded by E-Bay billionaire Jeff Skoll. The annual Skoll World Forum at Oxford Said Business School is one of the global impact events. SDACs website url says it all: As does the fact that it is a Benefit corporation, pending B corp. The first SPAC according to Forbes. Benefit corporations are for profit companies that want to have Drs Alcanne J Houtzaager MA, Inclusive2 Impact Investing, Tools & Thought Pieces 5
  2. positive impact on society and/or the environment #stakeholders. It seeks 316MUS$ for water, food, agriculture & renewable energy targets. Details on the website show sub themes such as water conservation & disaster relief. Capricorn, the holding company was founded in 2000 to ‘pursue extraordinary investment results by leveraging market forces to scale solutions to global problems’. It works in Southern Sub Sahara Africa and published it’s 2020 Annual Report already, in which it describes its activities in detail. Fascinating reading. #Sustainability #Water #Food #Agriculture #Renewable Energy #Environmental Resources Links: & Global Goal 7: Affordable Clean Energy Renewables seems a modest SPAC theme after the surge in Tech Energy SPACs in 2020 with 27Billion US$ raised. An interesting exclusion SPAC is #ARES raising US$1Billion without a theme, but ruling out oil …. I’ll highlight #SPQR Sunlight Financial for residential customers looking to install solar panels. #inclusive. It aims to raise US$345M. And we are talking #scale: ‘It has issued more than $3.5 billion in loans in the residential solar market & the company also works with more than 800 solar & home improvement contractors’. And to broaden your SPAC vocabulary: ‘Prior to the closing of the deal, a collection of investors have committed to a $250 million private investment in public equity (PIPE)’. #DoneDeal #Renewable Energy #Solar #Access #Scale Links: Drs Alcanne J Houtzaager MA, Inclusive2 Impact Investing, Tools & Thought Pieces 6
  3. Global Goal 8: Economic Growth & Decent Employment Well known sponsor is a typical SPAC characteristic. I choose AEABridgesImpact IMPX for that reason. Bridges Fund Management is the UK pioneer & accelerator for social & impact investing founded by Sir Ronald Cohen. It crossed the Atlantic to partner with Brian Trelstad. Trelstad’s Harvard Business Review article on the Many sides of Impact (5P’s: Product Place Process Planet & Paradigm) inspired me to mirror it for inclusive impact investment with PRICP: Price: Affordable!; Risk Related Return; Incentivised Impact; Catalyst (or Additional capital) & Public (inclusive). Another name that made #IMPX attractive is the involvement of Prof George Serafeim Harvard Business School and lead researcher of Relevant, Material Sustainability for GISR embodied in SASBs Sustainability Standards. Now the leading ESG Enviroment, Social Governance screen & embraced by Fitch S&PGlobal, MSCI ESG etc. #IMPX, AEABridgesImpact SPAC is: ‘driven by a clear conviction: that the businesses that will thrive in the next decade are those that are helping to build a more sustainable and inclusive economy. We aim to apply multi-decade investment and value-creation experience alongside best-in-class impact management and Environmental, Social & Governance skills to achieve attractive risk-adjusted financial returns for investors. We will invest through the lens of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”), which reflect social and environmental mega-trends that are re-shaping our world. The most successful companies in the years to come will find scalable solutions to these challenges that contribute to positive outcomes and unlock lasting economic value. By investing in a more inclusive and sustainable future, we believe a company can consistently create both long-term economic value and measurable societal impact. #exemplary #Sustainability #ESG #Inclusive #SDGs #Scalable Solutions Link & Drs Alcanne J Houtzaager MA, Inclusive2 Impact Investing, Tools & Thought Pieces 7
  4. Global Goal 9 Industry, Infrastructure & Innovation Spactrack shows only one active SPAC with Innovation as theme: #AACE Alexandria Acquisition seeking 250MUS$ for AgTech & Climate Innovation. With the fundraiser coming from real estate management with health care tenants diversifying to Life Science as Alexandria Venture (Capital) investing. The SPAC CEO Joel Marcus has a trackrecord as ‘architect & co-founder of Accelerator Life Science Partners, for which he serves on the board of directors, and AgTech Accelerator Corporation, for which he serves as Chairman of the board. His diverse philanthropic work includes the NY Robin Hood Foundation (Poverty Elevation, not Alleviation). Marcus favors innovation clusters at AAA location campuses. He stresses the importance of proximity of food production to eradicate transport losses in a Forbes podcast 34m & article. #Effectivity #NetImpact #AgTech #Climate #Innovation stering-is-key-to-an-innovative-future-across-the-globe-with-joel-marcus/?sh=619a9c9f5e1c No Yahoo Finance page (yet). Global Goal 10 Reduce Inequality If only, if only there was stock we could invest in to reduce inequality…. I chose Robotics as Tech to fight Inequality to alleviate hard monotonous physical labor, assist dissabled* and create the new jobs that we need to counterforce effects of automation & the 4th Industrial Revolution. Identifying Techs for the Global Goals are an impact investing strategy to invest in ImpactTech Growth stock next to Basic Needs Value stock. Robotics are also embraced by the World Food Program (WFP) working with WeRobotics using drone’s as information collectors in response to humanitarian disasters. WeRobotics supports dozens of local non profit Flying Labs in over 30 countries. Check out an update on WeRobotics Flying Labs work in South Africa: & Drs Alcanne J Houtzaager MA, Inclusive2 Impact Investing, Tools & Thought Pieces 8
  5. Spactracs Active List has #AGGR Agile Growth with Robotics/Automation theme next to software, Fintech & #Edtech. It seeks 300MUS$. No mention of impact or sustainability, it has a code of corporate governance & an ethics code. Techcrunch profiles Berkshire Grey, AI enabled warehouse automation for the retail supply chain surfing the online shopping wave. It is bought by (Revolution) Acceleration Acquisition Group SPAC #RAAC. Seeking 400MUS$. RAACs philosophy: ‘...rapid technological innovation, a shift to sustainability and clean energy, and the global pandemic will accelerate the adoption of the digital economy, alter individual and business behavior, create new ways of providing healthcare, energy and government services, and incentivize the building of domestic supply chains. These changes will disrupt sectors and markets, reframe investment priorities and usher in an era of increased collaboration. ... transformative – and ultimately positive – trends #Transformative & #ROT Rotor Acquisition Corporation is a SPAC seeking out Robotics companies. Our investment focus is on companies operating in large and growing markets that are ripe for disruption and that are bringing technology & innovation to ‘old-economy’ businesses. 495MUS$ of which 220mUS$ PIPE. Rotor is Merging 4 Direct listing with Sarcos Robotic systems #exoskeletons for non-repetitive tasks. #ROT to ‘enhance productivity, reduce occupational injuries, and equalize employment opportunities for the jobs around the world that do not lend themselves to automation’. Bloomberg: ‘Sarcos wearable devices help people move heavy objects with mechanical limbs and support, reducing workplace injuries and allowing employees less capable of strenuous labor to carry out tasks such as lifting airport baggage and manufacturing components without assistance.’ There is a snag for investors that exclude the military #DoNoHarm, the systems are also designed for military workers. #Robotics #Reduce Occupational Injuries #Equalize Employment Opportunities Drs Alcanne J Houtzaager MA, Inclusive2 Impact Investing, Tools & Thought Pieces 9
  6. Global Goal 11 Sustainable Communities Real Estate is a popular SPAC theme (21), as is the tech to catalyse new business models. In 2020 24BUS$ poured in via new technology products & innovative business models according to Tedcrunch. I stress Affordable Social Housing as contribution to Global Urbanization & Sustainable Cities & Communities needs. And of course the construction sector has a huge impact agenda to tackle. #DoLessHarm Of the real estate SPACs listed as active on SPACtrack many state Real Estate Service. And Perkins (affordable housing expert) & Shermansong (Techie) state on TedCrunch that I should focus on ‘Prop(erty)Tech’ as the Impact Tech ‘to change lives’. ‘Many ... emergent technologies could be adapted to become housing tech’ solutions - focused on financial resilience, fresh food access, healthcare access and workforce development - which have the potential to transform the lives of our most at-risk populations’. … and this way these ‘technologies help improve the day-to-day struggles of the vast majority of low-income families’. Is there a catch? Early in 2019 Leonard Vinci (#coolname!) wrote a thoughtpiece on ‘Proptech moving tinto the Affordable Housing scene’ stressing the importance of simple modular & prefab construction of homes next to tech. One of the mentioned players in Affordable Property, Metaprop VC, publishes an interesting Prop Tech Investor Confidence index (biannually). Also mentioned is modular builder Katerra (which ran into financial difficulties earlier this year, was bought by Softbank) It sees ‘Sustainability’’ as ‘Environmental intelligence, delivered at scale’. In 2021 it seems all has merged into one PropTech field & Alas I dont see a PropTech SPAC that stands out nor do I feel that the listed closed SPACs Opendoor (Hedosophia SocialFinance II), Landsea LSAE family homes or multi family homes (appartment buildings?) by EG Acquisition or CRE are about affordable housing. Maybe better eye REITS Real estate Investment Trusts, and this REIT Alert comeback: Aspire Real Estate REIT for Workforce Housing (it withdrew an Affordable Housing REIT IPO in late 2020) It;s focus Opportunity Zones, with income-restriction units. 100MUS$ REIT with big plans for the future 500M & 1.1BUS$. Drs Alcanne J Houtzaager MA, Inclusive2 Impact Investing, Tools & Thought Pieces 10
  7. GlobalGoal 12: Responsible Consumption & Production #Sustainbility as search term on Spactrack delivers 71! Active SPACs (11 closed in 2020). A lot for Energy Transition some solo on Sustainability. Eg the #STWO SPAC seeks 250MUS$ for ACON private equity ‘We believe part of doing well is doing good’. #NGAB II Northern Genesis website ‘We believe that there is a growing societal sensitivity on the part of customers, investors and employees to the alignment that a business demonstrates with the principles underlying sustainability... While a commitment to ESG covers a broad range of themes, we are specifically focused on evaluating suitable targets whose business practices demonstrate clear alignment with sustainability principles and whose organizational culture embraces the value of such alignment.’ #ESG #Sustainability #Best Practices #Organizational Culture Or #BWAC Better World Acquisition Corporation. It targets include “healthier, cleaner, more sustainable products & ingredients,” and technologies making cities “safer, more convenient, and more comfortable,” (SEC filing). It has a well known sponsor with Rosemary Ripley board member at Dutch multinantional Heineken (beer, a pioneer at water saving techniques) and managing director at N*GEN & which invests in sustainable agriculture, renewable energy and “circular product” companies, including healthy school lunch provider Revolution Foods and energy management software company Encycle. According to impact investing newsletter & podcaster @ImpactAlpha Better World it is looking to raise $110 million to acquire and take public a company focusing on healthy consumers and smart cities. #Circular #Sustainable Agriculture Next time I’’ll dive into Global Goal Climate Action (Carbon) SPACs and beyond. First some finance experts Drs Alcanne J Houtzaager MA, Inclusive2 Impact Investing, Tools & Thought Pieces 11
  8. I will share some thoughts from Snijders & Hadders @ACTIAM AM. The first Dutch Asset Manager to start an Impact Investment division focused at financial inclusion in developing markets. Only open to HNWI’s, but hey we’re talking over 10 years back. TWO SIDES OF THE STORY: SPACs Hadders: On SPACs as inclusive ‘SPACs will probably occur more often in the portfolio of private investors than in those of institutional parties.” And nice for the Dutch he quotes ‘The Financial Times headline: “European bankers set sights on Amsterdam as regional SPAC capital”. Apparently, this is due to the flexible regulations and Amsterdam’s current role in the trade of shares and derivatives following Brexit. He asks Snijders on SPACs from a sustainability point of view. Is there anything that stands out in terms of reporting and obligations and how is the generous remuneration of the founders of such a SPAC being viewed? According to Hadders: “SPACs are not a panacea or the only funding method for stimulating sustainability. Given the huge challenge of transitioning to a more sustainable world, it is actually important to grab any opportunity to scale up green technologies. SPACs are an innovative way to achieve these goals, provided companies offer sufficient transparency and take account of several aspects of sustainability in their internal business operations. It is therefore important for investors to ask themselves not only how SPACs can capitalise on green opportunities, but also whether they are accurately mapping the risks. This goes for both the internal business operations of a SPAC, e.g. the remuneration policy, but also for envisaged acquisitions. Full exchange of ideas: This list of potential inclusive impact investing SPACs is not investment advice. I am a Contemporary Political Historian (Drs @ University of Groningen,  Propedeuse @ UniUtrecht) with a Masters of Arts degree in Alternative Development Strategies at the Institute of Social Studies part of Erasmus University  Rotterdam. As far as impact investing concerns, I am an autodidact with some good advice from Dad and an introductory course to investing offered by  ABNAMRO Bank in The Netherlands. I started studying & practicing impact investing about 10 years ago. I certainly did not buy all of the profiled SPACs,  sometimes as little as 5 stocks, sometimes a bit more: guru’s or filled with a number of edtech stocks and paying out excellent dividends. No Warrants or Units. Drs Alcanne J Houtzaager MA, Inclusive2 Impact Investing, Tools & Thought Pieces 12