​Aiqueous merges with Apogee Interactive to Create First-in-Class Utility Customer Engagement Platform

SWAN portfolio company AIQUEOUS – a provider of customer relationship and program management software – and Apogee Interactive – a provider of customer engagement, education, and communication software – have combined to create a premier customer relationship & engagement platform for utilities and utility service providers. The unified entity is backed by M33 Growth, a growth-stage investment firm that partners with founders and management teams who have bootstrapped their businesses to a point where they are aiming to break through as market leaders.

“We believe that M33 is the perfect fit for AIQUEOUS as an equity partner,” said Jonathan Kleinman, CEO of AIQUEOUS. “By recognizing the value of our team, understanding the systems and support for our business stage, and experience scaling SaaS businesses, we believe that M33 provides the resources needed to achieve our mission and vision.”

More about this merger can be found HERE.

Aiqueous became a SWAN portfolio company in 2017.

SWAN Houston Chapter Kickoff Ignites Impact Investing at the Ion

SWAN is thrilled to announce the highly successful official kickoff of our Houston chapter, which took place on May 31st at the heart of Houston’s innovation district, the Ion. This memorable event, organized by SWAN’s Interim Houston Chapter lead Valerie Tompson, brought together over 70 passionate individuals who were eager to delve into the world of startup impact investing.

Joining SWAN Founder and Executive Director, Bob Bridge, in a panel to graciously share their expertise and experience were Kerri Smith, Executive Director, Rice Clean Energy Accelerator; Emily Reiser, Associate Director, TMC Innovation; and Grace Rodriguez – CEO | Executive Director, Impact Hub Houston as moderator.

During the event, panelists shed light on the distinguishing factors that set impact investing apart from traditional startup investing, including that impact investing goes beyond financial returns and seeks to generate positive social and environmental impact alongside financial gains. They also discussed the importance of aligning investment decisions with personal values and focusing on sectors that address pressing global challenges.

Moving forward, SWAN is excited to help foster collaboration, knowledge sharing, and meaningful impact within the local Houston startup ecosystem and looks forward to witnessing the transformative power of impact investing in Houston and beyond!

Portfolio EdTech company Acadeum closes $12M Series B

College students can’t always get into the courses they want, even online ones. That’s why many schools share online courses across institutions to give students more flexibility in scheduling the classes they want and help them graduate.

Austin-based edtech startup College Consortium Inc., which does business as Acadeum, is one of the biggest players in this ecosystem, working with big schools like Texas A&M and smaller systems. Today, Acadeum announced it has closed an $11.9M series B funding round led by Austin-based Green Street Impact Partners. It is the fund’s first investment. Other investors included ECMC Group’s Education Impact Fund and Pearson Ventures.

Acadeum’s platform provides course sharing across national and regional schools, and the company has partnered with Coursera to expand offerings of professional certificates. Through course-sharing, schools can offer courses that they might not otherwise be able to.

For example, last year Complete College America launched a course-sharing initiative in partnership with Acadeum to help two-year schools aiming to start or expand technical programs.

“Today’s learners are older, and more likely to be parents or working, than at any point in our nation’s history. That new majority of learners are putting pressure on institutions to align course offerings with the realities of their schedules and responsibilities beyond the classroom,” David Daniels, CEO of Acadeum, stated. “At a moment when some are questioning the role and relevance of American colleges, we’re building tools to leverage the collective strength of our nation’s higher education system to unlock new opportunities for both institutions—and students.”

Acadeum was co-founded in 2016 by Joshua Pierce, Luis Felipe Rincon, Nathan Green, Osei Bonsu and Robert Manzer. It has now raised a total of $23.9M, according to Crunchbase.

SWAN Announces Follow-On Investment in Vartega

The SWAN Impact Network is pleased to announce a recent follow-on investment in Vartega.

The company’s goal is to increase the amount of carbon fiber that is recycled. Vartega makes recycled carbon fiber more affordable and accessible for manufacturers to use via its patented recycling process and helps to divert waste from landfills.

SWAN previously invested in Vartega in 2021.

SWAN Announces Follow-On Investment in Elevation (Curb)

The SWAN Impact Network is pleased to announce a recent follow-on investment in Elevation (Curb).

The company’s goal is to make homes more energy efficient and reduce greenhouse gases. Elevation (which purchased SWAN portfolio company Curb Energy) offers a unique combination of solar, energy efficiency, and energy monitoring technology to provide homeowners with the most complete solution for smarter home energy with lower carbon usage.

SWAN previously invested in Elevation (Curb) in 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.

SWAN Announces Follow-On Investment in ClearFlame Engine Technologies

The SWAN Impact Network is pleased to announce a recent follow-on investment in ClearFlame Engine Technologies, part of a larger raise of $30M in Series B funding for the company.

The latest investments were led by Mercuria Energy Group, one of the world’s largest privately held energy and commodities companies, with Mercuria and Breakthrough Energy Ventures both making second investments. New investors, including mining corporation Rio Tinto, and WIND Ventures, the strategic venture arm of Copec, one of Latin America’s leading mobility and energy companies, see ClearFlame as part of a holistic suite of strategies to advance environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals.

ClearFlame Engine Technologies significantly reduces GHG emissions for long-haul trucking, agriculture, power generation, and other sectors by transforming heavy-duty engines to run more cost-effectively and cleaner on 100% renewable, plant-based fuels.

SWAN previously invested in ClearFlame Engine Technologies in 2020 and 2021.

SWAN Welcomes Goodwin Procter LLP as Newest Sponsor

SWAN is pleased to announce that Goodwin Procter LLP has joined SWAN as our newest sponsor.

Goodwin’s nearly 2,000 lawyers focus on building authentic, long-term relationships with clients, who are some of the world’s most successful and innovative investors, entrepreneurs, and disruptors at the convergence of and within the life sciences, private equity, real estate, technology, and financial industries. Their immersive understanding of their clients’ industries – combined with their expertise across high-stakes litigation and dispute resolution, world-class regulatory compliance and advisory services, and complex transactions – sets them apart. Goodwin Law has offices in various cities in North America, Europe, and Asia.

 

Making an Impact in 2022: SWAN’s Year End Review

Despite the economic uncertainties experienced by our angel investors in 2022, they
stepped up and invested in eleven social or environmental impact companies. SWAN angels are committed to making the world a better place.

SWAN’s investments enable creative entrepreneurs to
address important United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The SWAN Impact Network’s portfolio significantly increased in value in 2022.
And SWAN established a Philanthropic Fund that allows charitable
donations to be invested in companies that have been funded by SWAN angels.

In 2022, SWAN  added to its broad alliance of impact and syndication partners.

 

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