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Climate tech companies in the spotlight as SEC votes on new ESG disclosure proposal

March 21, 2022, 4:25 PM UTC

All eyes are on the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is expected to vote on a new set of climate disclosure rules for public companies in its meeting today that began at 11 a.m. The guidance would make it easier for investors to make an apples-to-apples comparison of companies’ carbon footprint. It will also likely give a leg up to a host of private climate tech companies.

Consistent disclosures could make eco-conscious startups more likely to stand out in the market when they go public—which, of course, makes them all the more alluring to investors when they’re still private. 

But the SEC’s new disclosure requirements could also spark new business for a series of companies building out green technologies for those corporations. There’s the likes of Zero Emission Industries, which developed the tech behind the first hydrogen fuel cell-powered commercial marine vessel—or weather prediction and security platform Tomorrow.io, which helps companies like airlines or utility companies pinpoint and plan for natural disasters. 

And companies have to measure the data in the first place. SINAI or Persefoni operate in what is now sometimes called the “Impact-as-a-Service” market—where technology is used to tally a company’s environmental impact, such as the scope 1 emissions from staffers moving around on the job, then translate those data points into corporate disclosures or reports. 

Venture capital has historically lagged behind the public markets in prioritizing environmental, social, and governance factors in investment processes, though the tide is turning and dealmakers have been raising capital for climate-focused funds at record rates. Last year we saw private climate tech businesses pulling their weight in $40 billion of venture capital dollars—up from a little over $16 billion in 2019. At least 20 of the companies handed new capital last year were offering software that helps companies or others measure their decarbonization progress—and the funding rounds were taking place primarily in the early stages.

Indeed, it’s investors that have largely been driving the push for companies to better understand how climate change will impact their own businesses, evolve their internal operations, and offer more rigor to their own operational risk in disclosures. Many of those investors, such as asset managers like BlackRock or pension plans like the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, are making investments across both public and private markets alike.

The SEC’s proposed rule, should it emerge today, will still be subject to another commentary period before the SEC makes a final vote on the rulemaking. I think it’s safe to say climate change will be top of mind to investors regardless.

The Theranos saga continues… After a series of delays due to COVID, former Theranos COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani’s criminal fraud trial is expected to start again tomorrow. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him. You can read more about Balwani and his decade-long affair with Elizabeth Holmes in this intriguing profile published a couple weeks ago in The Information.

See you tomorrow,

Jessica Mathews
Twitter: @jessicakmathews
Email: jessica.mathews@fortune.com
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Jackson Fordyce curated the deals section of today’s newsletter.

VENTURE DEALS

- Ramp, a New York-based corporate card and spending management platform, raised $200 million in funding led by Founders Fund and was joined by investors including Stripe, Iconiq Capital, Thrive Capital, and others. 

- CommerceIQ, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based retail ecommerce management platform, raised $115 million in Series D funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and was joined by investors including Insight Partners,Trinity Ventures, Shasta Ventures, and Madrona Venture Group.

- Triumvira Immunologics, an Austin-based therapeutics company focused on treating solid tumors, raised just over $100 million in Series A funding from investors including B Capital Group, ATEM Capital, the Myeloma Investment Fund, Leaps, and Northpond Ventures.

- Bionic, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based application security management platform, raised $65 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners and was joined by investors including Cyberstarts and Battery Ventures.

- Hydrow, a Boston-based at-home connected rower, raised $55 million in Series D funding led by Constitution Capital and was joined by investors including L Catterton, RX3 Ventures, Liberty Street, Activant Capital, and Sandbridge Capital

- TimeDoc Health, a Chicago-based virtual care management platform, raised $48.5 million in Series B funding led by Aldrich Capital Partners.

- ForAllSecure, a Pittsburgh, Pa.-based software security testing cybersecurity company, raised $21 million in Series B funding co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and New Enterprise Associates. 

- Recora, a New York-based healthcare platform focused on cardiac rehabilitation, raised $20 million in Series A funding led by SignalFire and was joined by investors including Valor Equity Partners and Pear VC.

- Shufti Pro, a London-based identity verification platform, raised $20 million in Series A funding led by Updata Partners VI

- doxo, a Seattle-based bill payment platform, raised $18.5 million in Series C funding led by Jackson Square Ventures and was joined by existing investors. 

- CoinRoutes, a Miami-based algorithmic trading platform for digital assets, raised $16 million in Series B funding led by Ayon Capital and was joined by investors including Susquehanna International, Cboe Global Markets, Celsius, CMT Digital, Genesis Global Trading, Galaxy Digital, Arca, Mirana Ventures, GSR Markets, AscendEX, Dash Investment Foundation, and Wave Financial.

- Dorian, a San Francisco-based gaming platform for female and diverse creators, raised $14 million in Series A funding led by The Raine Group and was joined by investors including March Gaming, London Venture Partners, VGames, Gaingels, and Graham & Walker

- Nectar, a New York-based allergy care platform, raised $8 million in seed funding led by Juxtapose and Obvious Ventures

- Applied XL, a New York-based information detection company that tracks the health of people, places, and the planet, raised $3.5 million in seed funding led by Hearst Ventures and was joined by investors including Boston Globe Media Partners and STAT

PRIVATE EQUITY

- Berkshire Hathaway acquired Alleghany Corp., a New York-based investment holding company, for $11.6 billion.

- Thoma Bravo acquired Anaplan, a San Francisco-based business management software platform, for $10.7 billion.

- Clearlake Capital and Motive Partners agreed to acquire BETA+, the London Stock Exchange’s wealth management technology, from the London Stock Exchange. The deal was valued at $1.1 billion, per Reuters

- SyBridge Technologies, established by Crestview Partners, acquired Advantage Engineering Inc., a Windsor, Ontario-based provider of rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

- Thoma Bravo acquired a majority stake in Circle Cardiovascular, a Calgary, Canada-based developer of reading and reporting solutions for cardiac imaging. FInancial terms were not disclosed. 

EXITS

- General Motors acquired Cruise, a San Francisco-based self-driving car startup, from SoftBank Vision Fund for $2.1 billion. 

- Inland Pipe Rehabilitation, backed by J.F. Lehman & Company, acquired Granite Inliner, a Plainfield,Ind.-based provider of pipes and pipeline rehabilitation service, and affiliated companies from Granite Construction Incorporated. Financial terms were not disclosed.

OTHER

- Cargill agreed to acquire a 24.5% stake in Salmones Multiexport, a Puerto Montt Chile-based salmon farming company, for $290 million. 

- Veho acquired QuikReturn, a New York-based package delivery service helping customers return their online purchases. Financial terms were not disclosed. 

IPOS

- CVC Capital Partners, a Luxembourg-based private equity firm, is in talks to go public in Amsterdam, per the Financial Times. A deal could value the company at €25 billion ($28 billion). 

- MaiCoin Group, a Taiwan-based cryptocurrency exchange operator, is in talks to go public within the next two years, per Bloomberg. A deal could value the company at $400 million.  

FUNDS + FUNDS OF FUNDS

- Frontenac, a Chicago-based private equity firm, raised $520 million for a twelfth fund focused on lower middle market buyouts in the consumer, industrial, and services industries. 

PEOPLE

- AppWorks, a Taipei City, Taiwan-based venture capital firm, promoted Alyssa Chen to principal to oversee the firm’s accelerator arm, Ching Tseng to principal to lead the Wweb3 arm, and Jun Wakabayashi to associate to lead AppWorks Beacon Funds operations.

- ParkerGale Capital, a Chicago-based private equity firm, promoted Cici Zheng, Jimmy Holloran, and Paul Stansik to partners.

- Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, a New York-based private equity firm, hired Ray Greer as operating partner in its technology group. Formerly, he was with Omnitracs.

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