Society

Global bank Citi launches $150M impact investing fund

Part of the fund will target earlier stage seed investments exclusively for companies led or owned by women and minorities

Citibank, the consumer division of Citigroup. Photo: Nils Versemann/ Shutterstock

Aimed at private sector companies that focus on social impact, Citi is launching a $150m fund for equity investments, as informed by the bank this Friday, 17th, in a press release.

Through the Impact Investing Fund, the firm says it will invest its own capital in U.S.-based companies that are applying innovative solutions to help address four societal challenges:

– Workforce Development – solutions that train and connect people to careers.

– Financial Capability – solutions that increase access to the financial system.

– Physical & Social Infrastructure – solutions that improve an individual’s way of life through housing, healthcare, and transportation.

Sustainability – solutions that address issues related to energy, water, and sustainable production.

“It takes companies of all sizes to address the challenges our society faces today,” stated Citi CEO Michael Corbat. “While Citi’s global footprint and scale allow us to use our balance sheet to play an important role, smaller, newer, ‘double bottom line’ companies play an equally important role in driving change.”

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The criteria to select the companies, as Citi informed, will be “to have demonstrated proof of concept, built an existing customer base, secured prior rounds of funding and exhibited the potential for scale in multiple markets.” Investments will be as high as $10m. 

Although focused on equity investment, a part of the fund will be allocated for earlier stage seed investments, and this seed funding will be exclusively focused on businesses led or owned by women and minority entrepreneurs.

“The gender and ethnic gap in the startup world is very real, with reports showing a small fraction of venture capital funding being allocated to women and minority-owned startups,” said Ed Skyler, Executive Vice President, Global Public Affairs at Citi. “Our intention is to not only help these businesses scale and thrive but to also shine a light on the investment opportunities among this pool of often overlooked, high potential entrepreneurs.”