Fwd: What investors forget

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Meera Zassenhaus

Jun 20, 2022, 5:07:07 PMJun 20
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---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Isha Datar <is...@new-harvest.org>
Date: Mon, Jun 20, 2022 at 4:58 PM
Subject: What investors forget
To: Meera <me...@new-harvest.org>

Hi Meera, 

I need your advice.

The day before the conference, I was put in touch with a climate and longevity investor over email. He has several investments in cell ag, but hadn't connected with NH before.

After attending just one hour of the conference, he told me this: "Your work is the foundation of private investing in cellular ag. If New Harvest dies, cell ag will go with it. Shouldn't investors be supporting New Harvest directly?"

Yes, they should. 

This is what most investors forget: that when it comes to achieving immense impact, the market only goes so far. The truth is that the market is risk averse by default even though it claims to be the opposite. Even the most innovative investors only want to show up when there is a reasonable expectation of reward. They're not actually well set up to blaze the path.

This is especially true for technologies like cellular agriculture, where the market really only makes an impact in the last stretch—well after discovery, development, and scale-up have occurred.

This is why New Harvest is the foundation of cellular agriculture. Because we take the biggest risks of all: investing our donated dollars into blazing that path. We invest entirely in impact because the ROI—a livable future—is priceless.

Let's face it, we're an effective nonprofit because we don't operate in a silo. It's our ability to work between sectors, filling in gaps while retaining neutrality; that's our superpower. One attendee of the conference told me that NH is more like a mini version of the NSF than anything else.

When we tackle what the market won't solve, we de-risk everyone's investments and create a ton of investable opportunities along the way. 

Last we checked, the 11 companies founded out of New Harvest's network represented more than half of all dollars (>$1B) invested in cellular agriculture food companies to date. That is extremely outsized if you consider that NH itself has itself received less than 0.5% of the $ in cell ag.

With all this in mind, and all this investment money in the field, why are we not seeing more investors protect their investments with contributions to New Harvest? 

I will say several of our donors do absolutely have investment interests. But they are a very small group of exceptional individuals. We haven't seen institutional funds make contributions to NH yet. How can that be?

To see >$2B in VC enter cell ag in the past 8 years—well, that makes our $18.5M ask for the next four years of impact look very, very achievable.

Here's what I'd love to hear from all of you—investors, finance people, smart people, in general:

How do we convince investors that a % of their fund SHOULD go to NH to protect and amplify their investment? How do we structurally set up NH for success with the investor community?

How do we mobilize the investor community to see New Harvest not as a nonprofit, but as the pre-accelerator? As the group that ensures the "impact" in impact investing? As the group that drives cellular agriculture forward with all the critical parties that demand neutrality and independence: government, international NGOs, and regulators? 

I am confident that if New Harvest suffers, the investment community will as well. And as the same investor told me, "There is no cell ag without New Harvest."

There's no time to spare.

Isha Datar

Executive Director, New Harvest

is...@new-harvest.org | +1 780 236 5507

June 20, 2022View this email in your browser

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Meera Zassenhaus (she/her)
Communications and Media Manager, New Harvest
+1 636 346 9902

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