Generation IM’s fourth impact fund backs data and AI management unicorn

Sustainable Solutions Fund IV, which closed at $1.7bn last year, has led a $150m funding round for data management company OneTrust.

Generation Investment Management is backing a software company with a product intended to support the responsible use of artificial intelligence.

The deal comes from the fourth fund in Generation IM’s flagship Sustainable Solutions strategy, which closed at $1.7 billion last year. Generation IM led OneTrust’s $150 million funding round; Sands Capital, an existing investor in the company, also participated.

Sustainable Solutions IV invests along three themes: environment, human health and financial inclusion. Its latest portfolio company falls into the latter category: OneTrust is a software company that develops data management products to help its clients comply with privacy and data retention laws. It also helps clients classify and analyse their data – which can automate the process of an organisation developing its own artificial intelligence resource using its data.

“We are big believers in accelerating the data-based economy in a sustainable way for both people and planet,” Joy Tuffield of Generation IM told New Private Markets. The “proliferation of data” in today’s economy “comes with a host of unintended negative consequences [such as] data privacy and security issues”.

Within the data sector, Generation IM looks for “companies that we believe are building solutions to drive trust and the sustainable use of data throughout our economy”, Tuffield added.

OneTrust is now expanding into AI governance, developing a product that will “help organisations inventory, assess and monitor the wide range of risks associated with AI…” and “provide visibility and control over data used and risks generated by AI models”, according to a statement announcing the product launch in May. The product will also help organisations comply with regulations around responsible use of AI and machine learning as and when these regulations are introduced, added Tuffield.

Previous investors in the company include Insight Partners, Coatue, TCV and Franklin Templeton. The company has been valued at $4.5 billion for this funding round.