Rohan MacMahon is Partner at Climate Venture Capital Fund, based in New Zealand.
What was your first job?
My first job was working as a shop assistant in my Dad’s pharmacy in the school holidays.
When did you know you wanted to work in finance/business?
I think I’ve always been interested in business. After training as a commercial lawyer, I found the legal aspect, while important, was very much the “how”. While the commercial side, being the “what” and “why”, was more interesting.
When did you first discover the concept of Impact Investing?
Way back in the 1990s and 2000s I used to work as a volunteer in the human rights field, looking closely into concepts like “corporate social responsibility” and “triple bottom line” for major corporations. This was an early model for companies to measure their non-financial impact, and they are some of the precursors to what we now call impact investing.
What’s one exciting development you and your team have in the pipeline?
We have invested, in a small way, into an early stage company called Liquium. They are working to make ammonia with very low emissions; Ammonia makes up ~1.5% of global emissions. This solution will take years to further test, but could revolutionise the fertiliser sector. Ammonia also has the potential to help decarbonise the massively polluting global shipping sector.
What was the most interesting impact deal (from any team across Asia/Pacific) in the past 12 months?
Loam Bio’s funding round in February this year raised A$105 million, and is to my knowledge the largest climate tech deal in Australasia so far. It’s a great vote of confidence in this company to have a number of local and international funders supporting it in challenging market conditions.
Name one high impact company (globally) that investors should keep their eye on?
Generation IM’s Just Climate, which is investing thematically into climate response across multiple asset classes.
What’s your vision for impact investing in 5 years time?
As a climate investor, I’m naturally very driven to find means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It would be wonderful to see the globally observed gap in climate finance close within the next 5 years. This would mean that all the various ways in which humanity is trying to address the climate crisis would have access to the capital they need to make meaningful progress. The 2020s are absolutely pivotal for climate response, and through the rest of this decade we will either bake in a huge amount of future climate consequences, or find ways to sharply reduce gross emissions. I see direct investment for climate impact as a big part of the solution.