Follow-on investments in Yotta Energy and ClearFlame Engine Technologies

The SWAN Impact Network is pleased to announce follow-on investments in clean-energy companies Yotta Energy and Clear Flame Engine Technologies.

As a world-wide energy shortage is poised to hit the U.S. this winter, Yotta Energy has raised $13 million to scale its unique, modular energy storage and microgrid technology, specifically designed to transform buildings into self-generating power plants. Led by WIND Ventures, the Series A round also includes follow-on investors Doral Energy-Tech Ventures, Riverstone Ventures, and returning investors, EDP Ventures, and SWAN Impact Network. Overall, the funding will allow Yotta Energy to expand product deployments in the U.S. and Latin America, increase company employment, open up energy generation revenue for commercial flat-roof buildings, and help North and South America meet decarbonization goals. The round brings the company’s total funding to $20 million.

SWAN previously invested in Yotta Solar in 2019.

ClearFlame Engine Technologies, a startup dedicated to the development of net-zero engine technology, announced today that it has secured $17 million in Series A financing, which will enable commercialization of the company’s innovative engine technology for the long-haul trucking, agriculture and power generation sectors. The financing was led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures with participation from Mercuria, John Deere, Clean Energy Venture and the SWAN Impact Network.

What sets SWAN apart

The SWAN Impact Network has earned a reputation for performing high-quality due diligence before we invest. And writing comprehensive deal memos is made easier for each contributor when a team comes together to work collaboratively. The team approach supports one of our key values, educating our members. Working on deal memos is immensely educational, especially for angels new to investing.

Here are some statistics:

  1. Over half of our current SWAN members have helped write a detailed deal memo
  2. One-in-five of our current SWAN members have been a deal lead and managed the writing of a deal memo
  3. For our two most recent investments, each effort had five first-time diligence contributors and a first-time deal lead, who were ably educated and supported by our more experienced investors.


OneSeventeen Media recognized as a Best-for-the-World company

SWAN portfolio company OneSeventeen Media is a certified B-Corp and has been recognized by B-labs as a Best-for-the-World-2021 company.

OneSeventeen Media is focused on marginalized youth, specifically those who aren’t ‘heard’ in our school system. reThinkIt! is a digital mental health platform using chatbot assistants, live chat counselors and an evidence-based ‘early detection’ assessment to help kids 10 to 15 years old better process difficult emotions, understand their own behaviors, and navigate those of others.

Quoting B-Labs: “Within this business community [of 4,000 certified B-Corp companies] operating at the vanguard of the impact economy, those companies that rank in the top 5% of all B Corps on the B Impact Assessment in its size group worldwide for their sustainable business practices are recognized as 2021 Best for the World. .”

OneSeventeen Media was recognized in the categories of Best for Customers and Best for Governance.


A follow-on investment in Curb/Elevation Home Energy Solutions

The SWAN Impact Network is pleased to announce a follow-on investment that furthers the market penetration of the energy-saving technology developed by portfolio company, Curb Energy. That technology enables home owners to reduced electricity consumption by up to 20%.

In 2017, our network made its initial investment in Curb Energy.  Recognizing Curb’s strong revenue growth and high growth potential, our network made a further investment in 2020. Later in 2020, Curb merged with Elevation Home Energy Solutions, a well-established, Arizona-based home solutions provider.

The network has now made an investment in Elevation, and collected significant investment commitments from our angels just four days after sharing the opportunity with them.

Portfolio company Sonnest closes its oversubscribed series A

Sonnest Has Received over $4M in the Series A Financing to Fund the Initial Evaluation of Electrast™ – the Company’s Voltage Activated Ultrasound Imaging Drug

Sonnest, Inc., a pre-clinical healthcare company developing Electrast™, a voltage-activated ultrasound imaging drug for myocardial perfusion imaging, announced today that the company has raised more than $4M in an oversubscribed Series A financing. The round was led by the SWAN Impact Network, Robin Hood Ventures and the Texas Halo Fund and included a number of doctors, and prominent angel investors. The funds will be used to advance Electrast™ into the clinic, confirm the safety profile of the drug and generate proof-of-principle ultrasound images in human patients similar to the videos created to date in pigs and dogs.

“We are very pleased with the results of our Series A financing because it gives Sonnest the resources the company needs to expand our team, complete GMP manufacturing and advance our innovative product from the animal lab into human patients,” said Peter Boyd, CEO of Sonnest and a serial healthcare entrepreneur who sold his last company to Edwards Lifesciences for $100M upfront and up to $150M in milestone payments. “2020 was a challenging year for everyone but our team continued to advance the development of Electrast™ and I think a lot of investors were excited to participate because they saw how the team performed in the face of significant headwinds.”

Bob Bridge, Executive Director of SWAN Impact Network, said “SWAN is a group of impact investors, and we began evaluating Sonnest in the summer of 2020 based on an introduction by a physician in our network. We were impressed by Sonnest’s cross-functional team of doctors, scientists and business executives, the innovative nature of the company’s technology and what the team was able to accomplish during the pandemic. We were excited to lead the Series A round because we believe that Electrast™ has the potential to cost-effectively improve the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with cardiovascular disease while also lowering risk to the patient by leveraging the power of ultrasound technology.”

VeMiDoc joins the SWAN Portfolio

The SWAN Impact Network is pleased to have VeMiDoc join its portfolio of social impact companies.

VeMiDoc provides a compelling bilingual telemedicine mobile app allowing health providers to remotely monitor patients via regular virtual check-ins and other health management tools. Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) incur high and disproportionate costs associated with poor disease management and poor health outcomes in Latino and other medically underserved communities. The VeMiDoc app, which in Spanish represents “see my doctor”, was conceived by Latino physicians and was developed to improve medical outcomes over time, reducing patient healthcare costs for MCOs and allowing them to better allocate resources to Medicaid beneficiaries.

Harmonic Bionics has closed another round

Harmonic Bionics is redefining neurorehabilitation with intelligent robotic technology designed to maximize patient recovery. The company just closed a $7M preferred stock round.

The company first applied to the SWAN Impact Network in early 2019, and at that time our network felt that the company was not yet ready for their initial funding. And as is our standard practice, SWAN gave the CEO feedback on their application, sharing what we believed to be their strengths and also identifying our concerns. Harmonic Bionics reapplied later in 2019, with a plan that addressed our concerns and SWAN was a major participant in their initial financing, a convertible debt round.

Many of SWAN’s portfolio companies have applied more than once to SWAN and upon reapplication have been funded by our network. Our goal is to be helpful to company applicants who are trying to help the world, and let them know what can make them fundable.

Based upon the conversion of our note in the latest funding round, the valuation of our holding has increased by a factor of 1.9.

Demystifying Impact Investing

SWAN Impact Network leadership participated in a panel which discussed “How do investors define Impact?” and the various sources of funding for impact start-up companies, including angel networks, investment funds and Donor Advised Funds.

The panel was co-hosted by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship.


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