Author: John Tough

Energize leads $10M Series A into Handle

Energize leads $10M Series A into Handle

Mark and Juan from the Energize team have a phrase “if you are long renewables, you are long construction”. Whether a wind farm, a building retrofit or an EV charger, the lionshare of the cost and time is in materials and construction. During a year++ long deep dive, Mark and Juan honed their search and yesterday the firm announced our Series A investment into Handle, and cofounders Patrick, Chris, and Blake. We are fortunate to work alongside Ty Findley and the Ironspring team with this investment. We believe that Handle will be the de facto payments platform that helps pay and finance the upcoming sustainability movement. The Energize “why we invested” is below.

Why We’re Investing in Handle

Energize leads $10M Series A round

Energize Ventures is proud to lead the oversubscribed $10M Series A investment in Handle, the leading software platform for construction payments and notice management. Ironspring is co-leading the round, and together we join existing investors Y Combinator, GFC, ZIGG, Elefund, L2 Ventures, and Soma Capital. Energize partner Juan Muldoon joins Handle co-founders on the company’s board, and principal Mark Tomasovic joins as a board observer.

Building the next generation of energy

At Energize, we believe that if you’re bullish on renewables, you’re bullish on construction. To reach net zero goals, more than $4 trillion will need to be invested in renewable energy infrastructure globally by 2030, tripling the current installed base of wind and solar. In fact, the U.S. is on track to reach $1 trillion in renewable energy investment in the next decade. However, building millions of distributed energy resources is no easy task. Construction firms will need to adjust the way they work to supply the labor and material resources needed to build out this unprecedented number of renewable energy assets.

While renewable energy assets don’t consume fuel to operate, these new energy facilities require more upfront materials than their fossil predecessors. Onshore wind plants require nine times the minerals compared to gas-fired power plants, and standard 2 MW wind turbines require 400 tons of concrete, iron and steel. The majority of the lifetime costs for wind turbines – and the majority of capital costs for all renewable assets – are the materials required to build them.

The scalability solution

Energize has been evaluating the construction space for several years through the lens of infrastructure and renewable energy development. When material distributors and subcontractors reach a certain volume of projects, scale becomes difficult. The back-office functions of finance, accounting and payment compliance become particularly strained. Material suppliers and contractors get bogged down by notices, RFIs, deadlines, and invoices that are required for these construction firms to function. According to contractors and material suppliers, bandwidth becomes constrained once the volume of notices and payments exceeds 30 per month. These processes will buckle under the speed and volume required to enable the energy transition and U.S. infrastructure buildout. 

Handle helps material suppliers and specialty contractors solve these broken processes at scale. By automating (historically paper-based) notices, deadlines, RFIs and invoices, Handle enables the efficient flow of materials, saving both time and money across the construction value chain. These savings allow more labor and materials to be provided to job sites and cost-effective renewable energy assets to be constructed at pace. Additionally, Handle protects the payment rights of small businesses and contractors by ensuring that complex liens are valid and cash flow issues don’t threaten livelihoods. With Handle, construction payments and lien management are transformed into digital, traceable and sustainable processes.

What’s next: industry-specific growth

After graduating Y-combinator in 2019, Handle co-founders Patrick Hogan, Chris Woodard and Blake Robertson have continued to build a world-class product for construction payments and payment compliance.

Having grown up in the family’s lumber business, Patrick was familiar with the inefficiencies and soft costs that have historically burdened construction companies. Both material suppliers and contractors needed a more efficient way to protect their payment rights and streamline their payment processes. With a deep understanding of the pain point, the founding team set out to continue to create a valuable solution for their customers. Today, the biggest names in construction trust Handle to manage billions of dollars in invoices through the platform. These customers have decreased DSO (days sales outstanding) by 20 percent, saved 47 hours per employee per month, and improved project data on every job.

Handle and Energize see a massive market opportunity for software to automate administrative functions within construction. With the Series A raise, Handle plans to scale sales and marketing as well as expand product functionality with additional products.Energize is excited to bring our network across construction material suppliers, renewable EPCs, and electrical distributors, as well as our experience scaling SaaS companies. We’re thrilled to partner with Patrick, Chris, Blake and the broader Handle team!

SEC & Climate-Related Disclosures

SEC & Climate-Related Disclosures

Yesterday – after years and years of posturing – the SEC released guidelines for their first material climate-related disclosures. A link to their summary can be found here: https://www.sec.gov/files/33-11042-fact-sheet.pdf

Late last year Team Energize hired Lauren Densham as our Head of Impact and ESG. After reviewing the facts from the announcement she shared the following review with our team and I thought it was a great summary,

My immediate two cents:

  • They don’t mention TCFD but the disclosure requirements are largely aligned to what TCFD requires. Starting in 2023 (for big companies) and starting in 2024 (smaller companies) companies must disclose:
    • Plans for assessing and managing exposure to physical and transition risk (including strategy and governance)
    • Carbon footprint of operations
      • Scope 1
      • Scope 2
      • Scope 3 (where material, or the company is setting Scope 3 targets) – I’m sure there will be much debate on what constitutes “material”
    • If the company has set a net zero or other climate goal they need to report on how they plan to meet it and their progress to date in doing so
  • Other interesting pieces:
    • They are requiring that companies have 3rd party assurance on climate disclosures starting in 2024 and increasing in scope to 2026 – This is a big deal. A very small percentage of companies have any assurance on their data. This will be gold rush for firms that offer this service (e.g. Big 4)
    • They are also asking for more detail about the use of RECs and offsets in meeting emissions targets, there will likely be increased scrutiny here
    • They are not requiring that companies use scenario analysis but that they need to disclose their methodologies if they do 
    • In line with current practice, the regulations are focused on the risk of climate change to a company’s operations rather than the risk of the company’s operations to the climate (the latter is called double materiality). There has been a lot of talk about double materiality in the EU, not yet in the US. 
    • They are asking for companies to disclose the climate risks and assumptions they have used their financial statements vs what is in the climate reporting (believe this is a move to get companies to more closely align the two)

I think pt #4 is a great reminder for anyone new to climate-related investing. The SEC’s concern is on business performance FROM climate change… not necessarily a businesses impact ON climate change. Sure they will start being more critical of offsets (good for our investment into NCX) but only to the extent companies have volunteered to hit targets or for the required subset of industries.

At Energize we have made a number of investments that are aligned to greater climate and risk transparency. And specifically, few firms in the world are as well positioned as Jupiter Intelligence to provide climate risk analysis. Led by Rich Sorkin, Jupiter shows which assets within a company are exposed to climate risks, and that data is what the SEC wants documented and assured. We led their Series B in 2019 and believe Jupiter is a generational company… and I am glad the market is beginning to realize the company’s potential.

Energize’s Standard of Excellence

Energize’s Standard of Excellence

Energize has an Order of Operations and a Standard of Excellence.

I brought these concepts from my days as an operator – these key phrases help define what is important and ultimately what we believe determines long-term success here at Energize. We put them on our kitchen wall in our new office. I really like how forward we make these statements to our network.

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The final statement here is “Family is First”. Earlier this week the Tough family welcomed our third child. This alongside three new deal announcements! It is a busy time but time for family. I am going to be offline here a bit – see you soon!

Energize Leads $50M Series B into NCX

Energize Leads $50M Series B into NCX

The Energize team is operating at a high level right now. And today, we announce another investment. This announcement is the result of an extended deep dive into the carbon markets. I expect we will make a number of investments in this area, and our team is thrilled to have Zack & Max at NCX as our first area of intense focus! Reach out to Katie or Eileen on my team to learn more!

Energize Ventures is proud to lead the $50 million Series B investment in NCX—the leading marketplace for quality carbon credits. J.P. Morgan, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Dalus Capital, and Clearvision Ventures also joined the round, along with existing investors Scribble Ventures, as well as Marc Benioff’s TIME Ventures. Energize partner Katie McClain joins the NCX board, and principal Eileen Waris joins as a board observer. This investment marks Energize’s first investment in carbon markets and nature-based solutions.

A new wave of demand for voluntary carbon markets

The last two years have been marked by a flurry of climate commitments as corporations increasingly allocate resources and investment dollars towards mitigating climate impact. According to GreenBiz, 38 percent of companies in the S&P 1200 have set or committed to setting a net-zero target. This represents a huge shift from just five years ago, when only one percent of companies had targets in place.

This wave of commitments has had a ripple effect in the global voluntary carbon market (VCM). The leading indicators of a major boom are visible. In 2020, value traded in the VCM doubled. In 2021 it tripled, exceeding $1B for the first time. While the market is still nascent, corporates are already purchasing offsets by the millions (tons and dollars). From tech giants like Microsoft and Stripe who typically lead the curve in sustainability, to heavy emitters like Delta and Shell, leaders across the full spectrum of the global economy are already allocating seven-figure budgets that only promise to get steeper over time.

As demand increases, we’re likely to find ourselves in a supply-constrained market. Let’s take the world’s largest compliance market as a case study— the EU ETS (Emissions Trading Scheme). As parties struggled to meet increasingly stringent emissions budgets, they were forced to buy more emission credits and supply became constrained. Prices tripled in the 2021, from roughly €30 per ton to over €90 per ton today. As pressure mounts on corporates to make progress on their emissions goals, a similar dynamic is likely to play out in voluntary markets. In a market that is not yet regulated, there are major discrepancies in the quality of credits from one provider to the other. All solutions are not created equal. Quality will be a significant driver of price.

A carbon solution that’s ready to scale today

The 2020s will be a defining decade for climate action. Swift action and significant investment will be needed to reach the goals laid out in the Paris Agreement and combat the inertia of climate change. Though there is no silver bullet for achieving emissions reduction, one thing is certain: time is of the essence, and solutions that are proven, readily available and scalable today can capture outsized value.

Enter: NCX – a science-driven forest carbon marketplace that leverages remote sensing and AI to deliver large-scale, immediate impact for climate and communities.

Energize has been researching carbon and emissions platforms for years, and while we’re excited about the novel negative emissions technologies that are emerging, we were hard-pressed to find high-quality emission reduction solutions that were both scalable and could deliver immediate, near-term value…until we met NCX.

As a tech-enabled marketplace for environmental commodities, what stood out to us about NCX were two things: their rigorous carbon accounting methodology and their technology-enabled approach to baselining and verification of carbon credits. NCX’s core business centers around developing high-quality credits which reflect the reality of climate impact through their data-driven, ton-year accounting approach. NCX Basemap, a combination of high-resolution forestry, timber, and climate data assembled over the past decade, can be leveraged to generate incredibly accurate baselines for carbon projects upon which carbon sequestration results can be measured and verified. The resulting high-quality, verifiable credits are directly advantageous to both their corporate customers and the landowners. What’s more, NCX’s marketplace is free for landowners to join and has no minimum acreage requirements, expanding the market and making it accessible to all.

Though not a panacea, natural climate solutions have the capacity to provide up to one third of emission reductions needed to reach 2030 goals. NCX’s leading solution is poised to shift the paradigm and prepare the industry to scale to meet impending demand.

The markets for renewable energy and carbon look alike

As climate and sustainability investors, we have an up-close view of the corporate entities and financial institutions that are leading the charge on climate change. Many of them are among our LPs. This access gives us a close understanding of their budgets, pain points and purchasing decisions when it comes to things like renewable energy adoption and emissions reduction. Many of the same customers who reduce emissions through clean energy purchases are also now looking to remove carbon through solutions like NCX.

As more companies look to high-quality carbon credits as a way to offset their emissions, NCX is focusing on scaling its supply to support this demand. This starts with enrolling more landowners on their platform and leveraging Basemap to lower the costs typically associated with scoping and baselining plots for potential carbon projects – which is how NCX operates similarly to project developer in many regards. This is another reason we were confident in our ability to support NCX’s growth post-investment. Aside from our track record of helping scale climate software companies commercially, Energize also has unique experience in renewable energy project development. Katie McClain, who is joining the NCX board, spent years scaling operations and developing utility-scale wind and solar projects for Invenergy (also an Energize LP) prior to joining Energize. We are excited to bring these insights to our partnership with the NCX team as we support their mission of enabling natural capital to reach its full carbon sequestration potential.

A data-driven approach built on forestry expertise

NCX, formerly known as SilviaTerra, was founded by Zack Parisa and Max Nova, a forester and a computer scientist who saw a gap at the intersection of the forest industry and legacy carbon projects. Through Microsoft’s AI for Earth program Zack and Max were able to build the world’s highest-resolution map of all forested acres in the contiguous U.S. This dataset was the foundation upon which NCX was built. Today, the platform leverages this data with expertise in forestry, timber, economics and technology to unlock the full carbon potential of our forests by enabling every landowner to be part of the climate solution.

NCX’s track record of building strong relationships with landowners positions them to develop and scale other natural commodities, such as those related to wildlife habitats and biodiversity. This latest infusion of capital will enable them to scale their product to reach new natural capital markets, expand geographically and grow their team with more mission-driven talent. We’re thrilled to partner with Zack, Max and the rest of the NCX team in carrying out their mission to connect every landowner to net-zero pioneers.

Energize leads Series A into Sourcemap

Energize leads Series A into Sourcemap

Yesterday we announced our growth equity investment into Aurora. We launched our growth platform because we listened to our entrepreneurs and ecosystem: our ongoing capital and time investment is a signal of belief and strength in the team and market. The Energize team aims to be a real partner along the journey delivering strategic insights and commercial advancements alongside our capital investments.

Our journey with a company usually starts much much earlier in the company’s life. We tend to invest at the inflection of commercialization – when we believe we have a “secret”. We leverage our market access and investment experience to identify the leading companies and then go all-in on supporting their growth. Our investment process begins with a research deep dive where we look to uncover how digital solutions will accelerate the sustainability movement. In 2021, Juan and Eileen led our team effort on a supply chain visibility deep dive. Today we announce the first investment from that process!

Energize Ventures is excited to announce we are leading the $10 million Series A investment in Sourcemap, joined by existing investor E14 Capital. Sourcemap is an expert-developed software platform providing end-to-end supply chain traceability to a wide variety of industries, from food and agriculture to luxury goods. Energize Ventures partner Juan Muldoon will join the Sourcemap board of directors, and principal Eileen Waris will join as a board observer.

Supply chain traceability is becoming table stakes

The recent spotlight on global supply chains has exposed what many insiders have long known to be true—the goods and materials we useevery day depend on a dense yet fragile web of providers that can be difficult to track and trace. With global supply chain disruptions and regulatory crackdown on social and environmental implications at an all-time high, supply chain visibility is now of utmost importance to business operations. From chip shortages to commodity price spikes, procurement departments are facing new challenges every day – and many of them culminate at the border. In 2020 Customs and Border Protection detained $50M worth of goods at the border. In 2021, that number grew to $486M, and the U.S. is already on track to exceed $2B in goods detained this year. With the latest ban on all imports from Chinese manufacturing hub Xinjiang, these problems are not likely to improve any time soon.

The root cause of many of these challenges can be pinned down to lack of visibility and understanding of global supply chains. Businesses cannot foresee disruptions in their supply chains until they have a more complete picture of who their suppliers (and their suppliers’ suppliers) are. More andmore, companies are seeking solutions that help them map and manage their supply chains, from direct suppliers all the way down to the raw material. To contextualize the complexity of this task consider this—a major CPG manufacturer might have anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 direct suppliers. Each of those suppliers has hundreds of their own suppliers. As companies try to map down to the source of raw material, the number of suppliers becomes dizzying.

This is where Sourcemap comes in. Sourcemap’s software platform digitizes end-to-end supply chain due diligence and customs compliance, enabling an unprecedented level of enterprise observability. Their universal ETL (extract-transform-load) data platform enables source-to-store traceability for any physical product. Sourcemap uses proprietary algorithms informed by decades of data to detect human rights violations, fraud, waste, and other risks throughout the supply chain. Customers across a broad swath of industries rely on Sourcemap’s solution to improve sustainability efficiency, resilience, and competitiveness.

The energy transition calls for a more transparent supply chain

As the race to decarbonize accelerates, the buildout of renewable energy infrastructure will require significant investment – to the tune of $4 trillion by 2030. Supply chain plays a critical role in the deployment of the next generation of energy. Why? An energy system powered by clean energy is fundamentally different from one powered by fossil fuels. The volume and type of materials needed to build and maintain gas plants and coal-fired power stations have little in common with those used in the deployment of solar PV and electric batteries. Displacing existing energy infrastructure with renewable energy assets will require further development of new supply channels in addition to higher upfront materials costs, even though the variable costs are significantly lower. With this shift comes a slew of new challenges related to responsible sourcing.

The renewable energy industry is well-aware of these challenges and prepared to face them head-on by investing now in solutions that help ensure their supply chains are resilient and responsible. We see a direct opportunity for Sourcemap’s traceability software platform to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy by helping developers and operators gain line of sight into their supply chains and address potential disruptions before they happen, all while ensuring environmental and social sustainability remains at the forefront.

Expert-led team primed for expansion

Supply chain compliance is not a space for tourists. And the team behind Sourcemap are no tourists. CEO Leonardo Bonnani has assembled a team of missionaries that have spent over a decade with boots on the ground, collecting data on the world’s most complex supply chains—from cocoa to conflict minerals. With minimal outside capital, they’ve been able to bootstrap the business that has grown to serve dozens of Fortune 500 companies.

With this most recent infusion of capital, Sourcemap will continue to invest in their core business, securing their position as the leader in supply chain transparency for food and CPG brands. As an investor, we will also support two major growth initiatives: expanding Sourcemap’s presence in Europe by building out their new Paris office and developing their offerings across new verticals including energy, auto, and pharma.

Accelerating Aurora: Energize co-leads $4 billion growth equity round into software leader

Accelerating Aurora: Energize co-leads $4 billion growth equity round into software leader

I’ve written on here about how Energize will continue to support our companies from Series A to IPO. This week the first of a few major growth equity investments we are leading is being announced. The press release is pasted below and an early article on Bloomberg found here.

Energize is the largest shareholder in Aurora and we’ve grown our position over time. We’ve partnered with Aurora since 2019 and the company is a pinnacle example of how software can accelerate innovation for energy and sustainability. Chris Hopper and Sam Adeyemo are excellent leaders of the company and quickly becoming stewards for the solar market as a whole.

Climate Tech SaaS Leader Aurora Solar Secures $200 Million in Series D to Further the Digital Transformation of the Solar Ecosystem

Funding Round Co-Led by Coatue and Energize Ventures, underscores the rising importance of software in the energy transition

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Feb 28, 2022 / PR Newswire / – Aurora Solar, the industry’s leading software platform for solar sales and design, announced it closed a $200 million Series D funding round co-led by current investors Coatue and Energize Ventures with participation from Fifth Wall, ICONIQ and new investors, Lux Capital and Emerson Collective. With this funding, Aurora Solar can accelerate its mission to create a future of clean energy by enabling solar contractors with a powerful, accessible and reliable platform to power every step of the solar adoption process. 

“As a trusted partner to the fastest growing solar companies, we have a unique vantage point from which to deliver customer-centric innovation,” said Christopher Hopper, Co-founder and CEO of Aurora Solar. “We are thrilled about our next chapter and accelerating innovations that enable every member of the solar organization to benefit from data and AI, and ultimately deliver on the promise of solar.” 

The solar industry is at a strategic inflection point. According to the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA), solar has experienced an average annual growth rate of 42% in the last decade and accounts for 54% of all new electricity-generating capacity in the U.S. This exploding growth in demand, along with the dramatic shift to a digital-first business environment, further accelerated by the pandemic, has highlighted the need for the solar companies to double down on digital transformation.  

“Software is increasingly becoming a mission-critical part of every solar organization’s technology and operating strategy,” said Samuel Adeyemo, Co-founder and CRO of Aurora Solar. “Aurora’s focus is to help our customers tackle some of the industry’s biggest challenges head on: accelerating sales cycles, scaling up design operations, and transitioning costly and ineffective manual processes to automated and integrated workflows.”

With more than 7.5 million solar projects designed in its software platform, Aurora is the de facto standard for solar design and revenue operations. Currently, 90% of the top solar contractors in the U.S., including Freedom Forever, POWERHOME Solar, and Momentum Solar depend on Aurora daily to power their sales, design and operations teams, and deliver meaningful business outcomes. Building on this momentum, this funding will help Aurora accelerate its product development, expand outreach, and build lasting, trusted relationships with their customers while also increasing Aurora’s collaboration with the broader solar community. 

“Solar is a $100 billion industry and the fastest growing power generation source in the world. At Energize, we believe the key to accelerating solar adoption at scale is through software and automation,” said John Tough, managing partner at Energize Ventures, which is Aurora’s largest investor. “Aurora is building the operating system that will support this growth, and we’re thrilled to make our fourth consecutive investment in the company as they continue to expand their platform and build upon their world-class team.”

Aurora Solar is committed to supporting solar companies, big and small, global and local, as they lead society toward a sustainable future, and will continue to work toward its mission of providing all solar professionals with leading-edge tools ​to efficiently ​sell​, design, and install​ high quality solar projects. 

Aurora Solar will highlight its latest innovations at the Sunrise Demo Day event on March 2, 2022. To register, visit sunrise.aurorasolar.com.

About Aurora Solar Inc.

Aurora Solar is a fast-growing technology company whose digital platform enables solar professionals to streamline complex and costly manual processes, so they can focus on what matters — driving solar adoption at scale. The award-winning San Francisco-based company powers over 5,000 of the solar industry’s most successful organizations and was voted the best solar software by Solar Power World in 2021. Over 7 million solar projects have been designed in Aurora globally. For more information, visit www.aurorasolar.com and follow us on Twitter @AuroraSolarInc.

About Energize Ventures

Energize Ventures is a leading global alternative investment manager focused on accelerating digital transformation in energy and sustainability. Founded in 2016, Energize now holds nearly $750 million in assets under management and has funded 18 companies to date. Energize is backed by institutional and strategic LPs including CDPQ, Credit Suisse, Invenergy, SE Ventures (corporate venture arm of Schneider Electric), GE Renewable Energy, Xcel Energy, and more. With an unmatched depth and breadth of industry and operational expertise, Energize works in partnership with its portfolio companies to realize their full potential from early commercialization to growth scaling and into the public markets. For more information on Energize Ventures, please visit www.energize.vc.

About Coatue

Coatue is one of the largest technology investment platforms in the world with more than $35 billion in assets under management. Our dedicated team of engineers and data scientists work closely with investment professionals to add value to founders and executive teams in our portfolio. With venture, growth and public funds, we back entrepreneurs from around the globe and at every stage of growth. Some of our private investments have included Airtable, Ant Financial, Anaplan, ByteDance, Chime, Databricks, DoorDash, Instacart, Meituan, Snap, Snowflake and Spotify.

Fast Radius is now public

Fast Radius is now public

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Fast Radius is a company that provides manufacturing services in four main areas: application discovery, product design and testing, production-grade manufacturing, and global fulfillment. Team Energize is a big fan of Lou Rassey, cofounder & CEO, and we invested in the company through both our ventures and growth equity platforms. Below is a post from the Fast Radius corporate account today:

Fast Radius is now on Nasdaq! Thank you to all of our team members who have helped us get to this day. We look forward to many more years of growth and continuing to #MakeNewThingsPossible for our customers and the world. #NasdaqListed

5 years at Energize

5 years at Energize

Today marks my 5th anniversary of working at Energize. In 3 months it’ll be the longest tenure of my professional career, then surpassing my time at Choose Energy. I loved my time at Choose- I learned from the best and learned what decisions really mattered. I learned from a great leader in Jerry Dyess about working with every level of the company and staying grounded amidst the highs and lows of entrepreneurship.

This 5 year run at Energize has a slightly different feel. When operating a (non-IPO) startup you generally know the path to exit is 4-7 years. With Energize I realistically think I’ll be here the rest of my career. The team is too good. Our opportunity so available. The tailwinds towards digitization and sustainability so strong. The entrepreneurs and talent focusing on these solutions so promising.

We’ve gone from 1 to 20 portfolio companies since I joined. From 3 to nearly 20 great employees. In 2017 we wouldn’t have our first close – a $50M one- for 4 more months. We now have over $750M of capital under management and this quarter we are investing $100M into a single company. Our companies are delivering tremendous financial and impact returns.

I’m excited for the next 5 years and to share those updates with you all. The stakeholders we have on board (employees, entrepreneurs, LPs) are going to take us to entirely new levels.

Hiring Lauren Densham, and doubling down on Impact & ESG

Hiring Lauren Densham, and doubling down on Impact & ESG

The times they are changing… for the better. Late last week, Energize announced that we hired Lauren Densham as our Head of Impact and ESG. Lauren comes to us from KPMG, where she was most recently a Director of Infrastrucutre & ESG Strategy. In that role, Lauren brought a corporate strategy mindset to the public sector, helping infrastructure owners to evolve their strategies and maximize impact. She also spent time advising investment firms on their strategies in the space.

This new role is a natural fit here at Energize. We believe that the top tier, next generation asset managers will embrace the impact potential of their portfolio, and accordingly track and improve the ESG metrics for each company. At Energize we believe that great returns and great impact are aligned and sacrifices are no longer required to independently attain each return target. When we were evaluating the landscape of clients, Lauren quickly rose to the top of the list. She quickly grasped the opportunity that early stage investors can play in helping establish consistency and centrality in the metrics and targets that our industry aspires to achieve.

One of my favorite recruiting strategies is to have candidates help define both their role and the success of the role. Energize is (currently) a small team early on in our journey. At this stage we need professionals that can both create and own the upside potential for their area of expertise. During the interview process, Lauren began educating our team and the page below was the start to her framework. So many individuals intertwine “Impact” and “ESG” and this chart shows the purpose of each area.

What happens next with Lauren here at Energize?

She is already going full-speed with us here and you will see a lot of research, data, and planning coming from our team on this topic in the coming year. In her role, Lauren is going to help our investment team track ESG metrics and hurdles in our investment process. She is also going to help our portfolio companies set their impact strategies and track and improve their ESG metrics. As if that isn’t enough, Lauren is also going to help these firms and other stakeholders in the Energize ecosystem more consistently message our aligned ESG metrics so that the impact investing thesis can be aligned towards a real, tangible definition of success. At Energize we encourage our entrepreneurs to “own the problem” and become associated with delivering a technology/solution that serves a market movement. With Lauren, we intend to grow into that impact leader role by delivering impact strategies to our portfolio and creating and executing an ESG best practice playbook for our budding ecosystem. Given Lauren’s experience and teamwork attitude, I am excited for you all to follow her lead on this theme.

Cash Efficiency is King… is back

Cash Efficiency is King… is back

Over the past year, the markets have gone all-in growth and a “growth-at-all-costs” drove valuation multiples higher. Well, for a number of reasons, the market’s position on growth has somewhat broken free from that unconstrained mentality.

Guggenheim releases a great monthly report on these market trends and the takeaways on the second page below show the most important update: the market is finally re-aligning to cash efficient growth. At Energize we like to say either “Cash is King” or “Cash Efficiency is King” … so we welcome some of this return to normalcy.