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Apax hits road with $1bn debut impact offering

The firm has hired a Norwest Venture Partners alum to co-lead the effort alongside Alykhan Nathoo.

Long-standing European private equity firm Apax Partners has started marketing its debut impact fund with a target of around $1 billion, according to two sources with knowledge of the fund. Apax declined to comment.

The firm’s impact team is co-headed by Alykhan Nathoo in London and David Su in New York. Nathoo joined from Africa-focused firm Helios Investment Partners earlier this year, as reported by New Private Markets. Nathoo was a partner at Helios and a member of its executive and investment committees.

Su, a 12-year veteran of Norwest Venture Partners, joined Apax in August this year, according to his LinkedIn profile. At Norwest, Su was a partner and a member of the growth equity team.

Su and Nathoo are joined on the team by five further investment staff, including New York-based Edward Donkor as managing director. Donkor joined this year from SK Capital Partners, where he focused on investments in materials, chemicals and pharmaceuticals businesses.

The strategy of the impact team is to “seek out opportunities to support companies which deliver tangible societal and/or environmental impact”, according to Apax’s website. It revolves around four sector themes: health and wellness; environment and resources; social and economic mobility; and “impact enablers” (technology and other services businesses that will generate impact across the other three themes).

In August this year, Apax announced a roll-up of three investments into a “landscape-defining social good software platform”. Apax funds bought EveryAction from Insight Partners, Social Solutions from Vista Equity Partners and combined them with CyberGrants to create a company with combined annual revenue of more than $200 million, according to the press release. Each of the companies provides some sort of service to non-profits or corporates undertaking philanthropic efforts. Apax did not state in the press release whether the transaction is the debut deal for the impact platform, but the deal announcement is listed on the Apax Global Impact web page.

Apax, a European stalwart of private equity, has expanded beyond its its flagship buyout fund programme – it recently raised $11 billion for Fund X – and into digital-focused growth investments. It recently closed its second Apax Digital fund on its hard cap of $1.75 billion.

The fund is being launched into a frenetic private equity fundraising market. 2021 looks set to become a record-breaking year for private equity fundraising, with the $535.3 billion gathered in the first nine months representing the highest total for that period since 2008, data from affiliate title Private Equity International shows.