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ImpactAssets 50: A Global Landscape of Impact Investment Fund Managers
The ImpactAssets 50 (IA 50) is the first open-source, publicly published database of experienced private debt and equity impact investment fund managers.
https://www.impactassets.org/impactassets-50

ImpactAssets 50

An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers

IA 50 2021 PROFILE

Okavango Capital Partners

Total Assets Under Management: Less than $25M
Asset Class: Private Debt - Absolute Return / Notes, Private Equity
Primary UN Sustainable Development Goal: 13 – Climate Action
Clean Technology, Alternative Energy & Climate Change
Natural Resources and Conservation
Sustainable Agriculture

Firm Overview

Category: Private Equity - Growth Stage (Emerging)

Okavango is an impact investment firm focused on companies that tackle environmental challenges, create jobs and improve livelihoods in Africa. The firm manages AWFs conservation bonds (9 impact debt investments in five African countries) and a number of club investments in Africa. 

Firm Headquarters: Africa
Years of Operation: 3 – 4 years
Total Assets Under Management:
Less than $25M
Total Number of Investors: Between 5 – 25
% of Capital from Top 3 Investors: Less than 25%
Investment Thesis:

Okavango invests in companies that have positive impact in climate mitigation and adaptation, nature conservation and rural livelihoods. Its core areas of focus are both Land based (sustainable agriculture, forest products, forest/grassland carbon, ecotourism) and conservation services based (climate-tech: which includes agro-technology, water-tech, conservation-tech; and other supporting services). 

Investment Overview:

Okavango works with fast-growing companies that are in positions of power with respect to how economic development affects nature with strong linkages to nature-related sectors (e.g. climate technologies and food security) that operate in and around the most important ecosystems. Okavango helps these companies implement conservation strategies that benefit the health of the ecosystems and ecosystem services. Unsustainable human behavior degrades nature and through conservation strategies, companies can shape consumers/human behavior through market mechanisms to be more sustainable. By partnering with these firms, Okavango can help develop theirthinking about conservation and as they grow and hit scale they do so in a way that has an optimal effect on nature.

Company Differentiator:
  1. Okavango sees companies through a unique conservation lens and uses conservation expertise to help achieve targeted environmental goals on top of the commercial goals. This means it will often co-invest with other funds, but it brings a unique focus to its portfolio.
  2. From the outset, Okavango assesses deals based on their potential to disrupt the key forces affecting Africa’s ecosystems. It uses data-driven tools to prioritize companies that are most likely to impact important natural landscapes. Other investors may optimize environmental benefits where a company is based, but Okavango is the only investor making proactive investment decisions based on a company’s geographic relevance to conservation. 

Investment Example

Protected areas are the foundation of efforts to secure biodiversity, yet their effectiveness is undermined by funding shortfalls. Funding of PAs is so low that most African countries risk losing the majority of their remaining wildlife resources before they have a chance to benefit from them in economic terms. Funding available for management needs to increase up 6x if PAs are to effectively conserve species, provide ecological and economic benefits to communities. Example> A nature tourism business with operations in East Africa and annual revenues of over $25M. Despite significant turmoil in the macro-environment, it has generated a CAGR of more than 40% in the decade since its formation. The business was the first African safari company to be B-Corp registered. It engages at a number of levels within its operational landscapes – generating meaningful funds for conservation, creating local employment, engaging in the local community, and conservation projects.  

Leadership and Team

Cumulative Leadership Experience in Investing:
30 years or more
Cumulative Impact Experience of Top Three Firm Leaders:
10 – 19 years
Josep Oriol – Managing Partner More Info

Josep has extensive experience in investments, law and private equity spanning over 20 years in Africa, Europe, USA and Japan: first in conservation capital and subsequently at Kibo capital partners an SME private equity investor with $100M under management. Josep has acquired substantial experience in environmental conservation through investments in wildlife, tourism, forestry, carbon and his role on several board positions. He holds an MBA from Duke University, a degree in Law (LLB) from Universidad Internacional de Catalunya and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona.

Davinder Sikand – Partner More Info

Davinder is one of Africa’s private equity pioneers with over 30 years’ experience in Africa, Europe and USA. He co-founded Aureos, a mid-market private equity firm where he served as Deputy CEO and Head of Sub-Saharan African Operations. He later initiated the sale of Aureos to Abraaj group, a US$14Bn emerging market asset manager where he headed African operations. Davinder has extensive experience in environmental conservation through several board positions. He holds an MBA from Kellogg​​.

Giles Davies – Partner More Info

Giles has over 20 years’ experience in private equity and impact investing in Africa, Europe and USA. He founded Conservation Capital (CC) and is widely recognized as one the of world’s leading specialists in conservation enterprise development and related investment financing. He started his career at Price Waterhouse Coopers. In addition to his work with CC, Giles has considerable experience as a non-executive director of both private and listed companies.​

Percentage of Investment Professionals who identify as women:
Less than 25%
Percentage of Investment Professionals who identify as a person of color:*
25% to less than 50%
Percentage of Senior Management Team who identify as women:
Less than 25%
Percentage of Senior Management Team who identify as a person of color:*
Less than 25%
*People of color include: Black, Latinx, Asian, Native American/Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander, Middle Easterm and multi-racial Americans

Financial Performance

Target Financial Returns Relative to Benchmark:
Market Rates
Actual Performance Relative to Target Financial Returns in the Past Three Years:
In line with initial target returns
Financial Reporting Frequency to Investors or Donors
Quarterly

Impact Performance

Percentage of Total Assets Under
Management that are Impact Investments:
100%
Primary Impact Outcomes:
Addressing climate change and environmental issues
Conserving land, ecosystems and natural resources
Creating jobs
Increasing access to water and sanitation
Addressing Gender Inequality
Secondary Impact Outcomes:
Increasing access to education and improving educational outcomes
Value-added Services Offered:
Access to markets
Other: Conservation leadership and conservation intelligence

Investments systematically target companies where social and/or environmental impact is integral to the product/service being created:

Okavango selects companies that are linked to nature. These companies have the potential to disrupt the ecosystems and how they interact with the environment may affect their long term sustainability. Okavango helps companies create systematic plans for integrating conservation considerations into their business plan through strategies, creating products and services that harmonize interest for community, nature, and business.  

Investments systematically include social and environmental sustainability practices in the due diligence process:

Okavango has policies across several dimensions anchored on the IFC performance standards. There is a process in place for assessing compliance and a plan for action where Okavango works with companies to improve performance in areas with gaps.  

Impact Tracking and Monitoring

Impact is Tracked:
Yes
Social and/or Environmental Impact is Reported to Investors and Donors:
Yes – to investors and donors
Third Party Validations:
Participant on steering committees or leadership roles within impact industry associations
Publisher or contributor to industry white paper or other research in impact investing

Learn More

Key Contact Name: Josep Oriol
Phone: +447946509269
Mailing Address:

Ngong road, Karen, Nairobi, Nairobi, 310, 00502 Kenya

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