Corporate leaders are stepping into impact investing.
Having updated the Global Corporate Venturing community on the opportunities to advance the impact investing field in June’s Digital Forum, Salesforce, a New York-listed customer relationship management services provider, has closed its second impact investment fund at double the size of its first.
Managed by its corporate venturing unit, Salesforce Ventures, the $100m impact fund II headed by Claudine Emeott and Adrianna Alterman will target cloud companies tackling education and reskilling, climate action, diversity, equity and inclusion, and providing technology for nonprofits and foundations. Its first impact fund raised $50m in 2017 and deals included education and training provider Guild Education, urban energy analytics company BlocPower, digital health services Unite Us and mentor services Ureeka.
Suzanne DiBianca, chief impact officer and executive vice-president (EVP) of corporate relations at Salesforce, said: “Through this new fund, Salesforce will invest in companies solving the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges.”
John Somorjai, EVP of corporate development and head of Salesforce Ventures, added: “Salesforce Ventures not only invests in the most innovative cloud companies and founders globally, we lead with our values — incorporating social responsibility, sustainability and diversity into our investment process.”
Others see it the same way. The Global Impact Investing Network estimates the market size at $715bn, up more than 40% from last year, while Sir Ronald Cohen, father of social investing and chairman of the Global Steering Group on this topic, at the GCV Digital Forum 2.0 expected assets to rise to about $1 trillion this year.