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Location: P.O. Box 206825, New Haven, Connecticut, United States United States
Founded in: 2009
Stage: Napkin (idea)
Number of employees: 1-5
Short URL: vator.co/black-oak-capital-partners
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Black Oak Capital Partners

Protecting California Farmland through Private Investment and Conservation Partnerships
Startup/business
New Haven, Connecticut, United States United States
http://www.yale.edu/cbey
  • About
Company description
Black Oak Capital Partners will acquire and manage California agricultural lands for investor returns and land conservation outcomes. Black Oak pursues an "agriculture-plus" investment strategy. Black Oak will source and manage lands in partnership with land trusts, brokers, and farm managers. Agricultural cash flows and asset appreciation are primary value drivers, while exposure to new environmental markets provides additional upside. Environmental markets help to align financial and environmental objectives. Markets include mitigation banking, organic transition, water transfers, and conservation real estate development.
Team
Business model

Black Oak's strategy:

(1)          Source targeted properties at attractive valuations through conservation partners,

(2)          Manage properties for financial and environmental performance through asset repositioning, ecosystem service markets and crop optimization,

(3)          Monetize development value through conservation easements or limited development,

(4)          Exit stabilized properties to strategic buyers.

Competitive advantage

Black Oak's competitive advantage will be superior deal sourcing via conservation partnerships. Many of the firms in this space have not established meaningful "on-the-ground" relationships or expertise. Many operate out of New York City, Boston or London, where they have superior access to investors, but an inferior sense of local markets. Black Oak is disinclined to participate in auctions or bid on publicly listed properties.

 

Conservation finance is Black Oak's second major competitive advantage. Black Oak's founder has raised approximately $16 million of state and federal funding for land and water conservation projects. Black Oak maintains significant relationships with state and federal funding agencies, and understands the priorities of each of the 35-40 funding programs available in California for Black Oak's projects.