Cleantech investor Rob Day argues in greentechmedia that impact investors who seek less than market returns actually hurt the overall proliferation of impact investing by refusing to demand replicable, attractive returns.
He closes with "Whether it's to help establish new scalable implementation platforms for clean technologies, or to help establish new venture financing models for the backing of clean technology innovations, there's a critical role for impact investors to play in unlocking big scalable capital. Bringing such follow-on capital is in fact a major, explicit goal for many impact investors.
For those who do want to have that impact, however, this ongoing argument around how much returns-sacrifice to accept rather misses the point, in my view. Sacrificing returns often fails the test of replicability. Buying down risk, if done the right way, is, on the other hand, key to establishing replicability.
So impact investors, do you want your efforts to be amplified with follow-on capital? Then consider taking on more risk -- not sacrificing returns."
News from AFI; Links to stories on business-for-good, private-company investing, fundraising, & sustainable food.