Fund of the year - Private equity: The Rise Fund

Channels: IMPACT

Companies: TPG, Y Analytics, Bridgespan

People: Jeff Skoll

For over 25-years, US-based private equity firm TPG says it has been investing in disruptive companies that seek to transform the global economy. With The Rise Fund, it turned its gaze to impact.

Co-founded with U2 lead singer  Bono and entrepreneur Jeff Skoll in 2017, its aim is to help entrepreneurs build profitable businesses that deliver positive and sustainable impacts and help achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Since inception, the fund has committed over $1.8 billion in capital to more than 30 impact businesses in over 20 countries. The fund is now managing more than $5 billion across the platform.

The Rise Fund's portfolio companies have generated an estimated $1.5 billion of impact since investment (as of Dec 31, 2019), while maintaining a median revenue growth rate of 25% in 2019.

As part of efforts to improve accountability and assessment in impact investing, TPG has also developed impact underwriting tools and created Y Analytics, a public-benefit corporation that assists with the measurement and valuation of impact.

In partnership with Y Analytics and consultancy, Bridgespan, The Rise Fund has created the Impact Multiple of Money (IMM) methodology, which assesses potential impact and allows comparisons to be made between investment opportunities.

This award acknowledges that The Rise Fund has generated impact at scale, applied impact measurement tools and created a business that seeks to address numerous SDGs.

"The Rise fund is a large attempt to match traditional buyout PE and impact, which is a massive challenge. Their impact monetisation approach is innovative, and a clever way to make an unfamiliar concept more comfortable for traditional investors," commented one of the IMPACT awards judges.

Examples of The Rise Fund's investments include Fourth Partner Energy, one of the largest companies in India's solar energy sector, African ecotourism firm Wilderness Holdings, and autonomous medical drone-delivery service Zipline.