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In brief: Global Steering Group for Impact Investment appoints Nick Hurd as chair

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Published: 25 April 2023

Hurd will replace Sir Ronald Cohen as chair of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment | Triodos invest in residential solar firm Sunvigo | Bluemark completes funding round

Nick Hurd is the new chair of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment | GSG

Nick Hurd, chair of the G7-backed Impact Taskforce and a former member of the UK parliament, has succeeded Sir Ronald Cohen as chair of the Global Steering Group for Impact Management (GSG). Cohen will become non-executive president and continue to serve on the GSG’s board. 

Hurd served as an MP for nine years, including as Minister for Civil Society within the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, a role in which he led the UK government’s efforts to support the development of the impact investment market. This included setting up Big Society Capital as the first impact investment wholesaler and establishing the first social outcome funds to support social impact bonds. Since leaving politics in 2019, Hurd has also been the chair of the Access Foundation for Social Investment and serves on the advisory council of the UK’s Impact Investing Institute.  

Over recent years, Hurd has worked as a GSG global ambassador for policy, a role in which he has visited and supported the GSG’s National Advisory Boards (NABs). 

Triodos invests in German residential solar systems specialist   

Sunvigo, the German residential solar systems specialist, has raised €12m in a growth capital funding round from the Triodos Energy Transition Europe Fund and greentech investor Future Energy Ventures as well as from existing investors Eneco Ventures, Sparta Capital, High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) and Übermorgen Ventures. 

The Cologne-based company, which also offers battery storage, e-vehicle charging and a green grid power plan, has also received a commitment of €7.5m from DKB, one of Germany’s largest online banks, to finance its extended solutions offer. 

Sunvigo designs, builds and operates residential solar systems and has developed a smart solar-as-a-service proposition to owners of single family houses using a proprietary energy management system which can be accessed via an app. Its aim is to connect more than one million customers across Europe by 2030 and integrate its solar systems into a virtual power plant to maximise the power not used onsite by marketing it within its community and to the energy market, providing flexibility to the power grid.  

“The solar power contract invented by Sunvigo makes using rooftop solar power for homeowners as simple as using power from the grid,” said Daphne Postma, senior investment manager with Triodos Energy Transition Europe Fund. “Sunvigo’s energy management system does not only optimize the consumption of solar power, but also enables smarter use of the energy coming from the grid.” 

BlueMark raises $10m to accelerate adoption of its impact verification technology 

BlueMark, a provider of independent impact verification and intelligence for the impact and sustainable investing market, has raised $10m to accelerate the adoption of its impact verification services, benchmarks, and analytics aimed at institutional investors. 

S&P Global led the funding round with four other new investors; Temasek Trust Capital, Blue Haven Initiative, Gunung Capital, and Tsao Family Office, as well as existing investors; Ford Foundation and Radicle Impact. The latter co-invested in BlueMark’s seed round in January, raising $2.25 million in equity financing.  

The company’s impact verification service includes analysis of an investor’s impact management practice, including the policies, tools, and processes necessary to execute on their impact strategy, and impact reporting, focusing on the completeness and reliability of their reported impact performance with the aim of optimising capital allocations towards impact. By aggregating data from these verifications, BlueMark is also able to generate insights into industry trends, market challenges, and emerging best practices. 

The capital raised in this latest funding round will be used to accelerate BlueMark’s market position and expand its presence across different industries and geographies, with a particular focus on Asia where three of its investors are based. 

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