Field Notes: GIIN Impact Base Snapshot

The Global Impact Investing Network offers up their first analysis of 310 impact funds, demonstrating a focus on finance, basic services and employment.

A recent report from the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) shows several interesting trends in impact investing. The report, compiled through its own proprietary “Impactbase” database, looked at geographical and issue areas of focus, predominant financial tools used in investing, and other trends. While it wasn’t necessarily reflective of the impact investing space in general, the report is a useful window into the behavior and characteristics of one medium-sized group of impact investors. Among the 310 funds surveyed, the average amount of impact AUM (Assets Under Management) was $52.5 million, with a combined total of $16.7 billion.

The report demonstrated a strong focus on access to finance, basic services, and employment among impact investors. Within the “Access to Finance” section, the most popular sub-category was micro credit, and within the “Access to Basic Services” section, education and food and agriculture were areas of focus for investors:

Breaking out investments along different impact themes, financial tools, and geographical areas showed relatively substantial trends in how money is invested. Funds focused on environmental investments have a substantially larger average deal size than triple bottom line, or “Social Focus” investments. Additionally, investments in real assets were both far larger, as well as far less frequent, than investments in private equity/venture capital, or fixed income investments:


Interestingly, when investments were broken up along along the lines of interested in receiving market rate, or willing to receive below-market rate returns on investments, environmentally focused investments had a much larger representation of investors wanting market-rate returns. That trend probably reflects many funds’ goal of investing in renewable energy:

See the whole report here.


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