Australia Launches its First Live Impact Investing Database
Monday, 18th September 2017 at 5:12 pm
Investors looking to support businesses making a social impact have been bolstered by the launch of a live impact investing database, which looks to connect investors and investees in this growing market.
The site collates basic information about current deals in the impact investing ecosystem, outlining the forecast financial return and social impact of an investment.
With newly developed business models highlighting the profitability of making a social or environmental difference, the Australian impact investment sector is growing and estimated to be worth $32 billion by 2022.
Director of the Social Impact Hub, Jessica Roth, said the growing demand for impact investing made such a resource invaluable.
“The need for this resource was identified at the 2016 Impact Investment Summit, where participants noted that although information was readily available during the summit, it was largely inaccessible during the remainder of the year,” Roth said.
“The Australian impact investing market is forecast to [continue growing], but the only way this can be unlocked is for investors to have access to information on live deals.”
Roth said this database marked a “ground-breaking shift in how Australians can access the impact investment market”.
“It facilitates access to impact deals, increasing the amount of capital for good. The number of listings on launch shows the growth of the market in recent years, and this is set to accelerate especially as more superannuation funds start to impact invest, following the lead of HESTA and Christian Super,” she said.
“The goal is to support the growth of the Australian impact investment sector, and in so doing, help finance solutions to some of our most challenging social and environmental issues.
“We are very excited by the traction of the site in such a short period of time. Some of the issuers with live product on the site have already received enquiries from potential investors, who found their contact details through the portal.”
One Australian company among the first listings on Current Deals Library, was specialised equity investor Eight Investment Partners (8IP).
The head of client relationships and distribution at 8IP, Jodi Pettersen, told Pro Bono News they were pleased to be a part of the project.
“At 8IP we have Australia’s first impact investment fund focusing on Australian equity. It’s quite a new fund and we’re interested in being on the Current Deals Library because it gives exposure to our fund, and we’re keen to see the ecosystem and the industry grow as a whole,” Pettersen said.
“The hub is particularly important for building up that ecosystem and providing more opportunities for people to learn about it and see what’s out there. What we hope to get out of it is increased traffic and interest in our fund.”
In their listing, 8IP said they were committed to “demonstrating that investing with impact can generate higher returns than the market”. Pettersen said the company was keen to further explore the potential of impact investing.
“I think there’s good investment opportunities in impact investment and we see that there’s a number of companies listed on the ASX that we think are impact investments, and we’re really excited about their future,” she said.
With resources like the Current Deals Library, Pettersen believes the number of impact investments is “only going to increase” in the future.
“It’s evolved quite a lot since 2012, which is when our firm started watching and monitoring the sector,” she said.
“I think that we’ll see increased asset flows into the sector and I hope to see a lot more players come into the market and more financial advisors looking at the space. I’d also love to see at some point large superannuation funds getting involved.”