Citi Impact Fund Expands to $500 Million, Doubling Down on the Double Bottom Line
By Edward Skyler, Executive Vice President for Global Public Affairs September 08, 2022 09:00 AM
We know that the challenges facing society right now, whether natural or man-made, disproportionately impact underserved communities. That's why we have been putting our balance sheet to work to support those trying to find solutions to these challenges.
Today, we are excited to announce that the Citi Impact Fund, designed to invest in “double bottom line” U.S. companies driving positive social impact, will expand to $500 million, more than tripling our initial commitment.
In 2020, we launched the Impact Fund with the goal to invest our own capital in companies that drive both financial and social returns. In just two and a half years, we've invested over $100 million of capital into more than 35 early-stage, high-impact companies driving innovation in financial inclusion, the future of work, social infrastructure and climate resilience. While we're proud of this milestone and the expansion of our Fund, our team is most proud to witness the tangible impact our portfolio companies are having on the communities they serve – whether it be Cayaba Care providing home-based maternity care to low-income pregnant people at little to no cost, Pathstream ensuring that frontline workers can gain the skills to access quality jobs or Pallet producing rapid-response shelter villages to help end homelessness. These companies are helping make our communities more equitable, accessible, and inclusive through scalable, sustainable models. The fund complements the grant making we provide through the Citi Foundation as well as the lending we catalyze through our social finance team and has become a pillar of our community investing framework.
Since we created the Impact Fund, we've focused on investing in diverse founders – both women and people of color. Start-ups play an important role in re-shaping the systems that power the global economy, and it is astonishing that women and people of color continue to receive only a tiny percentage of venture capital investment. At Citi, we've spent a lot of time examining these gender and race gaps and working to understand how we can provide equitable access to financial resources, while also supporting the growth of groundbreaking products and services.
So far, we've had great success in driving inclusion in our portfolio:
- 71% of our portfolio companies are founded by people of color and women.
- 35% of the Citi Impact Fund's portfolio companies were founded or co-founded by women, a 40% higher representation compared with VC deals done in the broader sector.
- Over 40% of our portfolio companies are founded or co-founded by Black entrepreneurs, more than 20 times the number of companies with Black founders funded in the broader VC sector. This supports our Action for Racial Equity commitment to help reduce the racial wealth gap in the U.S. by creating equitable access to venture capital funding for Black founders.
We know it will take a sustained effort to continue to reduce the inequities that persist. We are currently evolving our impact investing strategy for the future, identifying ways to further eliminate the potential for bias while strengthening how we measure and track the impact our investments are making in underserved communities.
From the solutions we invest in, to the way in which we invest, we will continue to double down on our mission of greater inclusion, access and systems change. We are proud to have been the first bank to launch an impact fund with its own capital. We look forward to sharing more on our new strategy and continuing to support our portfolio companies – new and existing – in the coming months.