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Scoop: Denmark raising $800M waste fund

Illustration of a dollar sign formed by recycled plastic items.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

The Danish government is raising up to $800 million for a new fund targeting investments in waste management and waste handling.

Why it matters: The fund underscores the complexity and amount of money needed to address a hardware-heavy sector that's historically been difficult to monetize for venture investors.

Catch up fast: The fund, known as Investment Fund for Developing Countries, has built a roughly $1.3 billion impact-driven project portfolio.

The latest: IFU began raising for its new waste-focused fund in July, Thomas Hougaard, IFU's head of green energy and infrastructure, tells Axios.

  • "No official commitments, but we’ve already been around the block and spoken to the LPs and have a good feeling from them," Hougaard says.

Zoom in: The fund will pursue minority investments, with checks starting at $25 million for companies valued at $100 million or more.

  • "It's impact growth capital, so we are targeting low to mid-teen returns," Hougaard says.

What they're saying: The market cooldown of the past year or so hasn't weighed too heavily on IFU's fundraising — including this latest raise that will near $1 billion.

  • "We are getting a lot of support both from the Danish government and from pension funds, because it’s being counter-weighted by a lot of private interest — consumers like the story that their pension fund capital is not only generating returns but helping to do good in the world," Hougaard says.
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