Tuesday, January 21,
2020 / 09:57 AM / By Citi / Header
Image Credit: Citi / Ecographics
On January 17, 2020 Citi
announced the launch of the $150 million Citi Impact Fund that
will make equity investments in "double bottom line" private sector companies
that have a positive impact on society. Citi will invest its own capital in U.S.-based
companies that are applying innovative solutions to help address four societal
- 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
"It takes companies of
all sizes to address the challenges our society faces today," said 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."
This is the largest fund of
its kind to be launched by a bank using its own capital. Investments, which
could be as high as $10 million, will primarily be made in companies that have
demonstrated proof of concept, built an existing customer base, secured prior
rounds of funding and exhibited the potential for scale in multiple markets. A
portion of the fund is designated for earlier stage seed investments.
Citi will actively seek
opportunities to invest in businesses that are led or owned by women and
minority entrepreneurs. As part of that commitment, the seed funding will be
allocated exclusively to investments in businesses led or owned by women
"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."
Citi's approach to
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) includes executing a business model
that adds value to society through its products, catalyzing innovation through
strategic philanthropy and taking a stand on issues that matter. This fund will
complement Citi's existing efforts, with the goal of achieving financial
returns while making a positive societal impact. The focus areas above are
areas where Citi has experience through its philanthropy, business transactions
and its own operations and advocacy.
2014, the Citi Foundation's "Pathways to Progress" initiative has
connected hundreds of thousands of young people around the world to jobs,
paid internships, workforce training and leadership development. This work
is implemented in conjunction with community organizations and municipal
leaders and leverages the time and talents of thousands of Citi employee
the "City Accelerator," a collaboration between the Citi Foundation and
Living Cities, the cities of Pittsburgh, St. Paul, San Francisco and
Washington, D.C., explored innovative practices aimed at closing the
funding gaps in their city infrastructure plans, with particular attention
to projects that have a positive economic impact on low-income residents.
For example, the City Accelerator helped Washington, D.C., create an
actionable plan for its initiative to convert 75,000 of the city's
streetlights to cheaper, energy-efficient LED technology, and install a
Wi-Fi access platform to improve wireless access to the public.
partners with other organizations to expand access for early-stage
financing to companies that are addressing community challenges. For
example, Citi, OPIC and the Ford Foundation recently launched a $100
million loan guarantee facility that will enable Citi to provide
early-stage financing in local currency to companies that expand access to
products and services for low-income communities in emerging markets.
has been helping to drive sustainable business practices in the finance
sector for more than two decades, from innovations in sustainable finance
to environmental and social risk management to climate risk assessment.
For example, as part of our $100 Billion Environmental Finance Goal, Citi
facilitated the largest financing package in the global renewable sector
for a greenfield U.K. offshore wind farm located in the southern part of
the North Sea, which supplies clean energy to more than 1 million U.K.
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