Industry’s first publicly available, searchable resource of impact investing fund managers sees record number of applicants and assets, reflecting the innovation and exponential growth that the IA 50 has helped to spotlight over the past decade.
BETHESDA, Md., Feb. 23, 2021—Clean Energy Ventures, a venture capital firm investing in early-stage climate tech startups that can mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and provide venture capital-grade returns to investors, was selected for ImpactAssets 50 2021 (IA 50), a diversified listing of private capital fund managers delivering social and environmental impact as well as financial returns.
This year marks the tenth edition of the IA 50, and despite a tumultuous year, total assets under management (AUM) among selected fund managers jumped to a record $228 billion in 2020, up from $181 billion in 2019. By comparison, in the IA 50’s inaugural year, assets totaled just $6.8 billion. Clean Energy Ventures has $110m assets under management through CEV Fund I, closed in October 2019.
“When we launched the IA 50, we knew there was tremendous potential for impact investing, but realized many interested investors weren’t aware of the incredible range of impact fund managers available to them. As the field has evolved, we have also become aware of the large number of innovative fund managers not identified via our traditional networks,” said Jed Emerson, ImpactAssets Senior Fellow and IA 50 Review Committee Chair. “More recently we have expanded the lens of our process to capture more breadth and diversity of impact fund managers and in doing so have also chronicled the progress made by impact investors as well as the work that still needs to be done.”
“We believe impact and venture-capital-quality financial returns go hand-in-hand today. In our view, those companies that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next thirty years are also the organizations that will be the most profitable, and vise versa,” said Temple Fennell, Managing Director and Co-founder at Clean Energy Ventures. “We’re excited to be part of IA 50 during its tenth year running.”
This year’s list revealed several investing trends.
Investment Targets: In 2020, the global pandemic and subsequent economic downturn affected communities worldwide, and IA 50 fund managers focused on some of those hardest hit. A total of 63% of managers targeted investment in rural communities, while 54% specifically benefitted people of color and 48% were focused on advancing women-led businesses. Two-thirds (67%) of managers said their firm focused on underdeveloped markets where the market is relatively new, emerging, or subject to systemic challenges.
Diversity and Inclusion: While fund management remains overwhelmingly non-diverse, IA 50 fund managers are leading with diversity. Clean Energy Ventures was recently achieved Diversity VC Standard Level 1 for 2020 – meeting best practices for diversity, equity and inclusion.
Impact and Financial Return: Impact fund managers remained focused on delivering both positive impact and investment performance. A total of 87% of IA 50 fund managers targeted market rate or above rates of return and 92% delivered either in line or above their target returns.
ImpactAssets is the leading impact investing partner for individuals, families and philanthropists tackling the world’s greatest challenges by investing in the world’s brightest ideas. We make it easy for our clients to “discover, connect and invest” in game-changing entrepreneurs and funds. Founded in 2010, ImpactAssets