Updated: Jul 12, 2021
A digital platform that encourages financial firms to share impact investment opportunities with one another has hit US$1.3billion-worth of private markets deals within less than a year of its launch.
The Impact Agora platform, which is powered by private markets fintech specialists Delio, launched last April and played a vital role in connecting the impact community while global lockdowns limited traditional fundraising strategies.
Companies that tackle today’s societal and environmental issues were often left frustrated by the challenge of accessing investors, despite the Global Impact Investing Network estimating the global market size would grow to US$715 billion this year. Rareș Pamfil, a partner at Impact Agora, said:
“All direct investment opportunities on Impact Agora are vetted by a deal-flow partner - which, for example, could be a venture fund planning to invest and looking for co-investors. Or it could be an angel investor network that has supported the business at an earlier stage. This vetting process is essential for investors, such as family offices, foundations, funds, corporates and other institutions, as it improves the credibility of the impact investing sector and will attract more mainstream capital.”
The platform has more than 80 institutional members from across 12 countries, with a further 100 organisations expressing interest in joining. Among its members are Triodos Bank, Zero Carbon Capital, Rathbones, and UKBAA.
Over 20 investment opportunities are currently live on the platform, each supporting at least one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This includes direct equity investment opportunities raising US$1-13m as well as venture capital funds and other alternative investments.
The increasing focus on climate change and the pandemic over the last 12 months has seen a notable shift towards businesses that focus on health and wellbeing, climate action, and sustainable cities and communities.
Impact Agora’s focus reflects the preferences highlighted in the 2020 Investing for Global Impact research produced by Campden Wealth and sponsored by Barclays Private Bank.
The report covers the responses of 300 of the world’s wealthiest individuals, families, family offices, and their foundations when it comes to generating a positive impact with their capital. In terms of company stage, 27% of respondents had allocations to venture stage impact investing, the largest proportion. In terms of asset class, 30% had allocated to private equity, also the largest proportion. As the average portfolio allocation to impact investments is set to almost double to 35% by 2025, this trend aligns with the type of opportunities available on Impact Agora, with $807m worth of deals targeting sustainable and circular consumption and a further $241m and $182m in energy technology and water solutions.
*Respondents of the survey averaged a net worth of $876 million and a cumulative net worth of $264 billion.