While it wasn’t called impact investing until fairly recently, it has been a part of the investment world for some time. There always have been conscientious individuals who wanted their money to speak for them, and for their financial holdings to reflect their social convictions. With information becoming more available and the world getting a little smaller, investing based on socially responsible ideals is getting easier. Impact isn’t restricted to one industry or one type of investment. A lot of companies are realizing that doing good in the world may be good for them as well. Here are a few private equity investment funds that Falcons Rock Impact Investments thinks are doing great jobs, and we encourage prospective investors to look for organizations like these in which to invest.
The Rise Fund
The Rise Fund, backed by co-founder Bono and managed by TPG Growth, aims to achieve competitive financial and social returns and outcomes. The fund raised $2.1 billion in 2017 – half of that from wealthy investors who had never invested for impact previously. Since then, the Rise Fund has made 25 impactful investments around the world, including:
- Fourth Partner Energy (India) – Fourth Partner is a leading provider of distributed solar in India, whose installations are expected to avert more than 16 million tons of atmospheric carbon. Fourth Partner is expected to be a potent driver of environmental and economic impact.
- Cellulant (Kenya) – Cellulant is a digital payments technology company with a mission to ease financial access for Africans in underserved countries. Their technology connects more than 7 million farmers with an easy-to-use payment portal, allowing them to receive fertilizer subsidies and increase productivity.
- Zipline (U.S.) – Zipline provides precision drone delivery for healthcare services, as well as inventory management and automation of the delivery process. This service was launched in Rwanda and has the ability to rapidly deliver vital medical supplies in emergency situations.
In addition, earlier this year, a spin-off from the Rise Fund was launched. Y Analytics was organized as a public benefit corporation and will provide hard data and research to help investors measure the social and environmental impact of their investments.
The South Pacific Investment Readiness Program
Impact investors from all over the world can help businesses in the South Pacific recover from disasters and expand. The Difference Incubator (TDi), in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, facilitated securing a $656,000 investment from impact investors to help out Tanna Coffee, a Vanuatu coffee producer. Tanna Coffee grows, farms, processes, roasts and distributes premium single-origin coffee, but it was hit hard in 2015 by tropical cyclone Pam. With the money from the investment, the company rebuilt its operation, produced a significant harvest, and has ambitious plans to increase production and wages, develop innovative and sustainable farming methods, and develop land for 200 working farmers to grow coffee. These developments would improve the company’s impact on the lifestyles of the farmers, their families, and their community, and improve Vanuatu’s economy.
Traditional investors might look at businesses in the South Pacific and see challenges, but TDi looks for opportunities. It selects businesses that have the greatest potential to deliver returns while having positive social and environmental impacts. Through impact investing, sustainable economies can be produced and create a better world for everyone, whether that means an entire nation that doesn’t have to rely on foreign aid, or a single farmer who can send his children to a good school.
One of the cloud computing giants already was changing how corporate philanthropy worked. Regardless of how well it does, it’s committed to making sure at least 1 percent of its time, product or equity gets to charity, regardless of how well it’s doing; the company recently formalized the process so other businesses can do the same thing. It also met a promise to go carbon-neutral, which didn’t need to be fulfilled for over 30 years. The company’s current plan is to coordinate with Salesforce Ventures to combine corporate capital and positive social progress.
This resulted in the launch of a $50 million impact investment fund designed to invest in social enterprises using its cloud-based customer relationship management platform in innovative ways. This money has been awarded to candidates, based on their work in workplace development, equality, sustainability, and the social sector. The company is looking to not only reward new organizations, but increase its returns, develop advancements, and help Salesforce expand into new markets to maximize the amount of impact its investing can do.
Transforming Industries With Falcons Rock Impact Investments
You don’t have to be an international company with worldwide holdings to take steps to make improvements to the world. In fact, investors like you can help make big changes by pooling your money with others that believe in the power of private capital to drive positive social change. Money talks, and when companies see where the money is flowing, they’ll listen. Falcons Rock Impact Investments can help you find the right investment vehicles that align with your beliefs, goals, risk tolerance and financial situation. Start learning more about how our impact investing process works today.