Derek Newberry

Rising Ventures Investor Edition: A New Fund Sets the Bar For Sustainable Investment

Philippe picCould Brazil break the curve on sustainable investing? If Philippe Lisbona, manager of the new Stratus VCIII fund has his way, the country’s investment landscape could look significantly different in the next decade. Philippe’s call waiting kept buzzing incessantly during our recent phone interview – his firm, Stratus Investimentos, had recently finished raising investment for a new sustainable small business fund and he and his co-manager, Wagner Duduch, probably haven’t gotten as much sleep since.

Showing how far some elements of the financial sector have come in triple-bottom line investing, Philippe didn’t see this as an even remotely philanthropic exercise – after a heavy dose of market research, his firm decided that moving capital into key green sectors in Brazil would generate high returns for investors. They are taking the lead in vetting companies in the sustainable agriculture and alternative fuels industries in particular, and are seeing companies with double or even triple digit growth rates.The IFC’s Innovation’s blog earlier this week announced that “Brazil Banks are Global leaders In Sustainable Finance,” based on a UNEPFI report showing the initiatives taken by the likes of Unibanco and ABN AMRO. It seems that actors in the financial sector are beginning to vote green with their dollars and Stratus is positioning itself to be an early winner in this growing trend. Philippe gives the details of the fund and fleshes out the philosophy a little more in the full article – take a look and stay tuned for announcements on the fund’s first deals within the next month.