Novata: ESG for Private Markets
A few months ago, a former colleague reached out to see if I had any interest in helping to launch a new start-up.
“Too soon,” I thought.
I had just left S&P, the acquirer of Panjiva, the start-up that I led for more than a decade. And, besides, I was having fun writing right here.
But then I met the founding team. They shared their vision for a new kind of company that would be mission-driven and commercially-sustainable. Together, we put together a plan for building NewCo, and I was hooked.
Today, I’m very excited to share the news that NewCo — now known as Novata — has raised its first round of funding: $21 million from the Ford Foundation, S&P Global, Hamilton Lane, and Omidyar Network.
We believe this is the largest Series A ever for a public benefit corporation, and we’ll put it to good use as we bring ESG to the private markets.
Having chosen my next adventure — as co-founder and COO of Novata — I thought it’d be fun to turn the remainder of this post into a Choose Your Own Adventure:
If you’re interested in the intersection of ESG and private markets (i.e., private equity, private credit, private companies), STOP READING and go directly to novata.com.
If you’re wondering what ESG is, you’re not alone. Environmental, Social, and Governance considerations are increasingly on the minds of business executives, investors, consumers, and even regulators. Gone are the days when a business was judged solely on returns to investors. Increasingly, we realize that a business can have a positive or negative impact on the world around it. ESG is shorthand for describing the effort to measure this impact, so that a company can manage it. As you might imagine, measuring non-financial impact is really hard. But it’s really important if capitalism is going to work for us, rather than the other way around.
If you’re wondering whether ESG is relevant in the private markets — and not just for public companies — STOP READING and check out today’s Barron’s op-ed by Novata’s co-founder and CEO, Alex Friedman.
If you have no interest in ESG or the private markets, but instead signed up for Going Green because you’re interested in the intersection of climate and crypto — fear not. There is a ton going on in this space, and I’ll continue to write about it as time permits.
If you’re a friend or family member who just signed up for Going Green in order to follow my adventures, thank you for encouraging me to do what I love and for motivating me to do things that matter.