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Request for Proposals – Nature+ Accelerator Fund (seed and early venture phases)

Apr 01, 2022
The author

CPIC Secretariat

This news item was initially published by Mirova.

Who we are

Mirova, the affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers dedicated to responsible investing, is the manager of the Nature+ Accelerator Fund1. Mirova and its partners, IUCN, the biggest scientific organisation in nature, and CPIC, the world’s largest coalition for conservation finance, have joined forces to form an entity with cross-disciplinary experience, including extensive on-the-ground expertise. They aim to support nature-based innovative solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change whilst delivering positive impacts both on biodiversity and the wellbeing of local communities. 

The Nature+ Accelerator Fund has been designed to bridge the largest gap in the funding cycle for nature-based enterprises. It will focus on high impact/early feasibility-stage projects to catalyse their environmental assets for the benefit of the entire market. Significant follow-on investments are expected to be made available to the most promising, impactful, and commercially viable projects.

More Context on Nature+ Accelerator Fund’s investment thesis

Nature+ Accelerator Fund will invest in projects across the following four categories:

  1. Terrestrial Conservation and Restoration: nested/jurisdictional REDD+ projects, biodiversity and conservation credits, multiple revenue stream landscape approach;
  2. Marine Conservation and Coastal Resilience: sustainable aquaculture, fisheries improvement projects, circular economy (plastic recycling and new environmental assets like plastic credits), blue carbon, mangroves, marine protected areas, and coral reef restoration;
  3. Sustainable Agriculture: regenerative agriculture, agroforestry, access to market and reduced intermediation, and soil carbon sequestration credit; and
  4. Nature Based Innovation: drone technology, conservation focused smart apps and financial services to communities.

What we are looking for

Nature+ Accelerator Fund will be deployed through three complimentary windows:

  1. Seed Window (ticket size of US $100-200K): targeting projects with an early-stage concept to finance their feasibility study;
  2. Early Venture Window (ticket size of US $1-2M): targeting projects that have passed the proof-of-concept phase and are delivering or about to deliver tangible revenue streams; and
  3. Venture Window (ticket size up to US $5M): providing follow-on funding to scale-up successful projects already funded under the Seed and Early Venture Window.

This RfP is exclusively dedicated to projects applying to the Seed and Early Venture Window.

In this context, we are looking for project opportunities fulfilling, at minimum, the following criteria:

  • Must be in operation (with concrete results, even if preliminary)
  • Must involve local communities with social benefits;
  • Must be in a developing country where the government is progressively engaging into the conservation of its key ecosystems;
  • Must be operated by a project proponent demonstrating track-record and local anchorage;
  • Specific priority will be given to projects generating carbon credits and to projects located in Africa;
  • Must be seeking commercial proposal – the funding delivered will not be grants but investment capital subject to repayment and returns. 

If your project fulfills such expectations, we strongly encourage you to submit a proposal by the end of May 2022. First projects selected are expected to be announced in June. Proposals can be submitted after May as well, and will be analysed on a continuous basis.

The template “Project Proposal Form” for the full proposal submission can be downloaded on this page. The completed form must then be sent to the following address:

Next steps

Upon receipt of the proposals, our internal committees will select project opportunities. The projects will be filtered through a multiple-step assessment and selection process:

  • First assessment against key eligibility, impact, financial, technical, KYC and ESG criteria and first approval/rejection;
  • Second assessment of pre-approved proposals, with input from Expert Committee, additional information request and Q&A (one interview with project proponent) and second round of approval/rejection;
  • Successful projects will be offered a standard contract.

All projects rejected will receive a rejection notification by August 2022.

For the projects selected, Mirova will reach out to each project proponent to discuss commercial terms for the proposed funding and discuss the potential for follow-on investments. 

Please note that the information presented below is neither a contractual document nor intended to be an investment advice. This Request for Proposal does not constitute an offer nor a commitment from Mirova, IUCN or the Nature+ Accelerator Fund or any of their affiliates to finance directly or indirectly any projects. Any such commitment shall be subject to, inter alia, the positive conclusion of a detailed technical financial and legal due diligence on the proposed projects, as well as all approvals of the required investment or expert committees. Mirova reserves itself the right to reject and not to proceed with your proposal. 

(1) NATURE + ACCELERATOR FUND SLP is a Luxemburg Special Limited Partnership (Société en Commandite Spéciale), open to new subscription to eligible investors as defined by the fund’s regulation. Access to this fund may be restricted to some persons or in some countries. Mirova is the management company. The supervisory authority approval is not required for this fund. The fund is exposed to risk of capital loss risk, discretionary management risk, valuation risk, contreparty risk, liquidity risk, sustainability risk, country risk, operational risk, regulatory risk, currency risk, interest rate risk, credit risk, risk linked to the investment strategy.