Minderoo Foundation Invests $5M in innovative Global Coral Reefs Fund

Pegasus Capital Advisors, the Stamford-based impact investment pioneer that manages the private equity fund within the UN-backed Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR) coalition, today announced a new source of private capital from the Australia-based Minderoo Foundation.

The investment by Minderoo Foundation’s Flourishing Oceans initiative and its Strategic Impact Fund is an important step towards mobilizing further capital from other investors, including additional commitments from the Green Climate Fund.

The new commitment to impact investing is to support countries in the Global South to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, which is focused on marine conservation and ocean health.

Despite covering over two-thirds of the Earth’s surface and providing trillions of dollars of value to the global economy, including through the provision of ecological services, SDG14 attracts the least attention and funding of the UN development goals.

The GFCR addresses this financing gap by investing in industries and sectors that can prevent further damage to coastal ecosystems, benefit local communities, and improve adaptation to climate change.

Fundamentally, through pursuing commercial-scale investments in the private sector, the Fund looks to reverse the loss of 14 per cent of the coral cover on the world’s reefs between 2009 and 2018, and protect up to 90 per cent of the world’s remaining coral reefs threatened and predicted to disappear completely by 2050.

Director of Minderoo Foundation’s Flourishing Oceans initiative, Dr Tony Worby, said the capital investment in the GFCR is an important step towards unlocking further capital from other investors including additional commitments from the Green Climate Fund.

“Minderoo Foundation challenges the world’s biggest issues and through impact investing we can help establish and grow ocean-positive businesses that protect, rather than degrade, the world’s coral reefs,” Dr Worby said.

“Critically threatened coral reefs and the coastal communities that rely on them for their food security and livelihoods are extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation.

“This investment instrument is an innovative tool to leverage government, business and community action to tackle the urgent and unprecedented need to return the ocean to a flourishing state.”

Craig Cogut, Founder and CEO of Pegasus Capital Advisors, the impact investment firm that manages the GFCR private equity fund, said, “We are thrilled and grateful that Minderoo Foundation is supportive of this approach that benefits the oceans while providing investors with risk-adjusted and market-based returns.”

Global Fund for Coral Reefs Fund Manager Dale Galvin commented, “The Minderoo Foundation is among a growing group of investors that increasingly realize the opportunity for private capital to shift industry towards responsible behaviours that reduce threats to critical marine habitats while generating business value. This investment creates leverage that enables us to pursue immediate opportunities in a segment of the market previously untapped by impact investors.”

Minderoo Foundation’s investment marks a milestone for the GFCR coalition, which has mobilised more than USD $200 million US dollars for climate adaptation, coastal ecosystems, coral reefs, and communities since launching in late 2020.

About Minderoo Foundation:
Minderoo Foundation is a modern philanthropic organisation which takes on tough, persistent issues with the potential to drive massive change. Minderoo’s Flourishing Oceans initiative aims to return the world’s oceans to a thriving state by ending overfishing, dumping of plastic, heat and carbon dioxide in our ocean, supporting the sustainable use of ocean resources, conserving key habitats, and facilitating world class research. Minderoo Foundation’s AUD $250M Strategic Impact Fund invests to scale and accelerate the impact goals of the Foundation.

About Pegasus Capital Advisors, L.P.:
Pegasus Capital Advisors is a leading global private markets impact investment manager. As the first U.S. private equity fund manager accredited by the Green Climate Fund, we are dedicated to fostering sustainable and inclusive growth while providing attractive returns for our investors. Founded in 1996 by Craig Cogut, Pegasus has invested over $2 billion across five private equity funds.