The New Hottest Trend in Impact: Fundraising with NFTs
And how Millennials are growing x10 ESGs impact investments
Hello Impact Nation,
Do you like crossroads?
We love them … in business. Look for the intersection between two separate markets: it’s always a great place to do business.
3+ years ago, one of the billion-dollar crossroads was FinTech (bankers + programmers).
1+ years ago, media were excited about $9.5 billion invested in RegTech (compliance/lawyers + programmers)
And what about this year?
This year is our time, dear Impact Nation.
One of the hottest crossroads on the market is ESG (impact) + NFT (a blockchain technology).
Definitively, it’s the hottest place to be if you are looking to raise funding (or invest) in impact.
Let’s dive in.
This Week We Are Diving Into:
1. The New Hottest Trend in Impact: Fundraising with NFTs
2. Good Gossip
3. News & Opportunities
4. Meet the Speaker: Cansu Deniz Bayrak
The Impact Lady
NFTs & ESGs Are the Hottest Investments for Millennials
95% of millennials are looking to invest in ESG-oriented projects.
40% of them own cryptocurrency. (Source: Fortune)
Millennials are already more numerous than Boomers. For example, in the U.S. there were 72 million Millennials in 2019, compared to 69 million Baby Boomers.
And their spending power is only expected to increase as Baby Boomers reach old age and pass down their earnings through inheritance.
Add to the equation that most millennials are NOT going to buy a house (because of the increased prices but also because of their sense of freedom) and they know that they will never get a sustainable pension when they retire.
Basically, the new generation is building their retirement plan entirely of stocks and crypto.
Ok, but … what’s an NFT?
You may know everything about NFTs. If not, here is Investopedia’s definition:
“Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are cryptographic assets on a blockchain with unique identification codes and metadata that distinguish them from each other. Unlike cryptocurrencies, they cannot be traded or exchanged at equivalency. This differs from fungible tokens like cryptocurrencies, which are identical to each other and, therefore, can serve as a medium for commercial transactions.”
Basically, NFTs are collectibles on steroids.
They may be based on a video, a picture, a drawing, or something entirely new (an exclusive membership card, or legendary weapon for a videogame).
Each NFT is unique, like a painting
Each NFT can be sold like a collectible (without any waste or time or risk of damage in the shipping, because they are online)
Because NFTs are unique, the more people want a specific NTF, the more its price increases.
Top investors in NFTs are often interested in ESG/Impact (e.g. Millennials and Gen Z)
Impact projects are already raising funds with NFTs
The smartest and most visionary members of the Impact Nation have already raised millions in this brand new market.
OpenEarth Foundation with Beeple’s NFTs has raised $6.6M as part of the “Carbon Drop” initiative. You can watch one of their Senior Advisor, Katherine Foster, talking on our podcast.
How to fundraise with NFTs for impact
You don’t need to convince a famous artist or collector to donate a painting to your project.
You can “print” your own NFTs yourself (with some technical help).
You can even issue your membership card in the form of a unique NFT. Bankless, an educational project, has its entire membership based on NFT, and members can vote online at no cost.
While a traditional membership card is usually just a (reproducible) piece of paper, an NFT is recorded on the blockchain and unique.
Because it’s unique, an NFT can acquire value over time.
Even a donation to a charity could become a great investment when the donor receives an NFT in return.
Donors will donate more if they can recover part of their costs, or even make a profit.
Transparency is another plus
Since the NFT is on the blockchain - an online archive that is accessible and can not be tampered with - your fundraising or investment has a higher level of transparency than any traditional project.
22 billion reasons to move into NFT
NFT trading reached $22bn in 2021, compared with just $100m in 2020 (Source: The Guardian).
The floor market cap of the top 100 NFTs ever issued (meaning their collective value), was $16.7B last year.
A growing trend thanks to Millennials and Gen Z
57% of millennials have sold stock when they thought the company was not serving the best interest of society or our planet
Their passion for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing has helped drive the 10x growth in ESG inflows in just two years.
This investment trend is not going unnoticed.
BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has joined the sector with a dedicated vehicle: the BlackRock Global Impact Fund with portfolio manager Eric Rice.
Will you ride this opportunity as well?
It should not be necessary to add any disclaimer but … Let’s say it anyway! This is not financial or tax advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. DYOR - Do Your Own Research!
Congrats to …
Janey Douglas ↪ has been appointed Head of Sustainability at Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated (JLL), a professional services company specializing in real estate and investment management.
Robert Spencer ↪ has been appointed Global Head of ESG Advisory Services at AECOM, an infrastructure consulting firm.
Steve Lister ↪ has been appointed Sustainability Director - Global Brands and Retailers at HH Global, a procurement partner in the outsourcing industry.
Joanne Lee, Rebecca Antonini, Cressida Grant ↪ have been respectively appointed Responsible Investment Specialist, Head of Corporate Sustainability, Head of Corporate Philanthropy at First Sentier Investors (FSI), a global fund manager.
Marie Gauthier ↪ has been appointed ESG Specialist, at Comgest, an independent, international asset management group.
Roland Rott, Sona Stadtelmeyer-Petru ↪ have been respectively appointed Head of Sustainable Investing Research and Lead Sustainable Investing Strategist in EMEA at JP Morgan Asset Management (JPMAM)
WeAre8 ↪ raised €13.5M in series B to transform digital advertising for good. Lead investor Channel 4 Ventures and Centerstone Capital with the participation of the footballer Rio Ferdinand.
Yep! ↪ raised $1.5M in pre-seed to launch its new digital financial app in five African countries (Nigeria, Niger, Togo, Ivory Coast, and Burkina Faso) and tackle financial inclusion. Lead investor Greenhouse Capital.
4G Capital ↪ raised $18.5M in Series C to provide unsecured credit to micro-enterprises. Lead investor Lightrock.
Wagely ↪ raised $8.3M in pre-Series A to allow workers to access wages on demand, instead of waiting until payday. Lead investor: East Ventures (Growth Fund). Other investors: Integra Partners, the Asian Development Fund, Global Founders Capital, Trihill Capital, Blauwpark Partners and 1982 Ventures.
KKR Global Infrastructure Investors IV fund ↪ raised $17B to support economies, including roads, railways, ports, airports, power, water, and telecommunications.
News & Opportunities
Ghana Green Exchange aims to issue $5 billion in green bonds. The exchange is seeking to help local businesses issue green bonds at between 4-6% in contrast to the traditional 16-21% interest rates.
Kite-Hill PR is offering a pro bono program to minority-lead startups. The program 'Tech for Good" is open to women/BIPOC/LGBTQIA-led companies.
Frazier Life Sciences launches a new $987 million fund for biotech/drug development startups. General Partner Daniel Estes details the investment thesis "40% of the fund will go toward oncology, while 20% to 30% will land in "hot areas" and the remainder toward "optimistic" pockets of drug development, like dermatology, ophthalmology, and women's health,"
10,400 companies – worth $105 trillion in market cap – will be requested to disclose data on their environmental impact by CDP. The list includes Allianz, Amundi, AXA, BNP Paribas, CalPERS, Capital Group, State Street, and Vanguard.
Siemens Financial Services will provide $100 million in financing to support the decarbonization of SMEs in the United States under the program ‘Kickstarter Capital’.
🎙 PEOPLE IN IMPACT
Meet: Cansu Deniz Bayrak
Cansu is Senior Partner at Bethnal Green Ventures, Europe’s leading early-stage tech for good VC, where she leads on fundraising for their investment vehicles.
Previously, she was with the global accelerator Startupbootcamp, first building their MENA branch in conjunction with a micro-fund in Istanbul, then scaling their industrial IoT programme to London and running it.
She has been in the tech industry as a founder, operator, and early-stage investor for a decade. Her background is in international politics and human rights law – Before going into investments, she worked with IGOs and NGOs like Amnesty International, the Council of Europe, and the UN in Turkey and France.
Currently based in London, she is an ambassador for the UK Government’s Tier 1 Tech Nation Exceptional Talent scheme.
Trivia: What is the Tech Nation UK Government’s scheme? Tech Nation is the official Home Office designated endorsing body authorised to assess endorsement applications from individuals with expertise in digital technology and who want to come to the UK under the Global Talent visa scheme. The Tech Nation Visa, officially known as the Global Talent Visa, enables the brightest and best tech talent from around the world to come and work in the UK’s digital technology sector. The Tech Nation Visa is for founders and employees with technical or business backgrounds, including all tech sub-sectors like fintech, AI, cyber, and games.
Cansu will be a speaker at Expanse, the Global Summit for Impact Investing in Tech. Join him today!
🚀 COMING SOON
The (Re)evolution: from Charity to Impact Investing - With Deri Llewellyn-Davies, Founder of BGI Group
Video interview available from Thursday - Stay tuned