Circulate Capital, a new investment management company, has recently launched in partnership with Closed Loop Partners and Ocean Conservancy. Led by Rob Kaplan, co-founder of Closed Loop Partners, Circulate Capital will invest in companies, innovation and projects that prevent plastic from leaking into the ocean, with special emphasis on South and Southeast Asia.
According to the company, scientists estimate that more than half of the 8 million metric tons of plastic that flow into the ocean every year come from developing countries in the region where waste management has lagged behind rapid economic growth.
The new firm evolved out of the Closed Loop Ocean project, following commitments made by Closed Loop Partners, Ocean Conservancy and a number of corporate partners at the Our Ocean Summit in Malta in October 2017 to create financing vehicles focused on preventing plastic from flowing into the ocean.
Circulate Capital will operate as an independent firm with a dedicated team and resources. Circulate Capital was also created in collaboration with members of the Closed Loop Partners Ocean steering committee, which comprises intergovernmental organizations, associations and some of the world’s largest companies.
Circulate Capital aims to finance companies and projects that focus on waste management and recycling in emerging markets in South and Southeast Asia. Additionally, the fund will support incubation of eco-systems of companies, NGOs and municipalities that will, among other things, increase the pipeline of investable opportunities for all investors. First investments are expected in the first quarter 2019.
“Circulate Capital seeks to fill capital gaps and prove the investment market by financing opportunities that collect, sort, process and manufacture using waste in areas known to contribute to the ocean plastic crisis,” said Kaplan, founder and CEO of Circulate Capital, in a statement. “Ocean plastic presents one of the most urgent and fast-growing ecological challenges of our time. Our objective is nothing less than to become a leading force behind solving the capital gaps of companies and infrastructure that prevent ocean plastic. Our firm isn't the only solution to ocean plastic, and we depend on enabling policies, regulatory environments, supply chains and strong partnerships in the ecosystem. Our goal is to remove capital as a barrier. We are grateful to the commitment of Closed Loop Partners and Ocean Conservancy as well as to the members of our steering committee for their support.”
Circulate Capital also announced a Request for Proposals process to solicit applications for financing for companies and projects from qualifying entrepreneurs from South and Southeast Asia. The firm's goal is to select the first recipients by early 2019.