Barclays Helps Ventures Tackle Environmental Issues
Barclays and Unreasonable Group have announced the extension of their Unreasonable Impact programme for five more years, aimed at supporting an additional 200 ventures that are focused on sustainable and environmental impacts.
Ventures that join the programme will be connected to the Unreasonable community, providing access to specialised advice from over 1,700 investors and 1,000 mentors, including experts from Barclays.
Through an immersive programme, entrepreneurs can engage in critical conversations with experts to overcome barriers that may be hindering their growth.
Over 250 companies have been supported by the Unreasonable Impact programme to date, offering solutions that range from converting carbon waste into fuel to lab-grown meat to vertical farming. These companies have collectively raised over US$10 billion in financing since their inception and employ more than 19,500 people. After one year, over 60% of alumni report job growth, showcasing the impact of the programme.
Unreasonable Group's CEO, Daniel Epstein, emphasised the importance of execution in addressing the world's pressing social and environmental challenges, stating, "Ideas are welcome, but execution is worshipped." He also expressed excitement about expanding the programme's support to include social businesses focused on healthcare, infrastructure, and housing.
The extension of the programme aims to continue providing vital support to a new generation of entrepreneurs who are working towards creating impactful solutions, setting an example for how multinationals and emerging technologies can collaborate to address critical issues while maximising both impact and profit.
In addition to offering advisory and banking services to ventures in the programme, Unreasonable Impact alumni also benefit from Barclays' network, being proactively connected to investment opportunities and commercial activities across the bank.
Barclays, through its Sustainable Impact Capital portfolio, is an investor in climate-tech start-ups with a mandate to invest £500 million by 2027. To date, Barclays has invested in eight ventures from the Unreasonable Impact programme through this portfolio, including 80 Acres Farms, a company that converts urban spaces into highly efficient vertical farms that use 95% less water than traditional farming practices.
Mike Zelkind, CEO of 80 Acres Farms, praised the support received from the Unreasonable Impact programme and Barclays, stating that it was invaluable in scaling their solutions and connecting with key investors who believed in their vision. He mentioned that without the support and connections provided by the programme, their business and others addressing systemic issues would have been years behind where they are now. Following their participation in the Unreasonable Impact programme, 80 Acres Farms successfully secured Series A and Series B investments from Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital, with Barclays' banking team acting as the sole placement agent for the latter, a $200 million capital raise.
Deborah Goldfarb, Barclays' Global Head of Citizenship, expressed enthusiasm for the Unreasonable Impact programme and how it brings together Barclays' commercial and citizenship agendas to drive meaningful change in addressing the world's pressing environmental and social challenges. She highlighted that as Barclays continues to support these groundbreaking companies and connect them to opportunities across their business, she looks forward to witnessing their growth.
Barclays' Unreasonable Impact programme and Sustainable Impact Capital portfolio are complementary to their wider support for climate-focused start-ups, ranging from early-stage support from the Business Banking team and Eagle Labs community to Investment Banking teams assisting with funding rounds, IPOs, and beyond.
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