Investor Insights

July - 2020

As the world adjusts to a life of rolling COVID hotspots, many of the newly-formed habits, born of necessity, are expected to become permanent. This is not all bad news: reduced pollution, fewer cases of pollution-linked serious childhood allergies and asthma, an often-improved worklife balance for those able to avoid the everyday commute; the list goes on. All these trends are helping us towards a more sustainable future, despite the howls of protest from certain political quarters. Enlightened governments around the world are, at last, enacting the legislation necessary to help avoid a looming climate crisis. Reduced travel and a movement towards more sustainable solutions have decreased demand for oil and coal with, for example, Germany phasing out coal from its energy portfolio. This is not without pain for countries that have not invested in alternatives. The UAE’s enlightened long-term investments to create a service economy is the poster child for farsightedness. Despite the long-term lower oil prices, the move towards electrically-powered vehicles seems unstoppable lifting Tesla to become the world’s most valuable car company (article). When traditional oil firms invest billions in battery production (article) we know that the world is changing. Whether for smoothing renewable energy supply flows, or powering vehicles, it is certainly not about fossil fuels. Even in the Middle East – that bastion of fossil fuel firms are investing in hydrogen production (article) for use in vehicle fuel cells such as Germany’s hydrogen-powered trains (article).

Source: tradingeconomics.com, WTI, 1315cest10jul2020

Inside this issue:

Sustainable investing matters

Although sustainable investing emerged in the 1970’s, it is only in recent years that the movement has gained positive traction by identifying how value-aligned investment objectives and high performance can be combined. This movement is further boosted by firms seeking to fulfill their CSR obligations. The shift towards a more positive and regulated screening of ESG (environment, social, and corporate governance) factors in the investment decision is driving the rapid growth in sustainable investments that Bloomberg reports as having increased 34% to over US$30.7 trillion (article). One happy outcome of the pandemic-driven lockdown is a glimpse that long-term lower pollution levels are possible. In many places throughout the world, the voice of climate deniers is being drowned out by a call for action. For example, the EU’s call for a 37.5% cut in emissions in 2021 levels by 2030.
Our own sustainability focus is reflected in our strong support for early-stage firms who are bidding to make a difference. This month we are highlighting two innovative technology firms that are contributing to a more sustainable world; one in the electrically-powered mobility space, the other showcasing world changing sustainable data center technology that is reducing the power demand and the pollution implications of the ever increasing number of server farms.

Eco-friendly high-tech watercraft

Not all electric vehicles are cars. A research report by CISION forecasts that the market for electric-powered watercraft is expected to rise rapidly to over $20 billion worldwide by 2027 (article). The firm we are following has produced an eco-friendly craft with no gas emission, no marginal noise; a craft that creates only the smallest waves. They have built, and widely showcased, a foil-assisted planing watercraft for use in all coastal areas, lakes, and rivers, including natural parks and eco-parks. Having already sold small quantities of the craft, this first ready for volume production craft is destined for the recreational market, and is a vital testbed for an already designed larger craft meant for the water taxi market and other similar serious transport uses. This is a potentially huge market opportunity (article) especially in countries with extensive waterways and an environmentally-friendly government.
Talk to us today if you are interested in investing in this firm, which is seeking funds to begin volume production.

Innovative data center technology

In our everything-digital world data continues to grow further boosted by the recent call for online working with the resulting impact on cloud servers and streaming service providers (article). Add the coming 5G revolution and we can expect a massive uptick in demand which makes more urgent the need to find a solution that minimizes the power demand, and the pollution implications, of data centers. In a world dominated by the cloud, Edge computing, and other disruptive technologies, the data center remains the DNA of businesses and corporations. But almost half of the power used by data centers is used for cooling and power provision, not running the servers and drives. Critically, total data center power use gives rise to serious concerns about CO2 emissions exceeding 900 billion kgs per year, about the same as the airline industry (article). With data demand increasing, we must take action to reduce the power requirements of server farms. The firm that we are following is a pioneer in sustainable data center efficiency technology. Their solution is based on the principles of eco-conservation, demonstrating the optimization of energy used without degrading air quality.
This means that servers can be cost-effectively installed in any room without the need for a special data center building. A bonus is that all materials used in their equipment are recyclable. The firm is ready to enter volume production and is seeking investments to help them fulfill multiple letters-of-intent orders.
Interested? Talk to us today.
Data center energy use source – Shehabi 2016

The next steps

Where to next?

Adapting to a sustainable environment will be a challenge for firms and industries as it requires changes to existing cultures, technologies, and processes. So we, must also consider how, in practical terms, these changes will be brought about. Therefore, in our next newsletter, we will explore the implications for education especially in the massive task of up-skilling millions of people to meet the needs of Industry 4.0. In the meantime, we must seek ways to help the world become more sustainable, more equitable, and healthier. If we had a motto, it could be ‘Doing well by doing good’ since our committed mission is to help those firms whose products, services, ethics, and culture strive towards these same goals. If your firm aspires to these same objectives, and is in need of investment, talk to us today.
On the other hand, if your firm is looking for innovative opportunities for investment, and find our vision for the future compelling, talk to us today. We aim to make a difference for firms on both sides of the investment divide. Work with us!
We also wish to support partners who are investing in firms beyond the early stage that is our own concern. So, next month we plan to introduce our new partners in the listed firms’ investment space.
Investment and public relations, working for you.