In brief: ‘Basic need-related SDGs’ now an investor priority, Phenix Capital report says

Research from the investment consultant shows the growth in number and size of impact funds in market.

Impact investment consultant Phenix Capital has released its 2023 Impact Fund Universe Report. Using data from more than 2,200 funds, 84 percent of which operate across private equity, private debt and real assets, the report offers insight into the last 12 months of impact fundraising. Here are some points to note:

  • The overall number of impact funds grew by 12 percent in 2022, while the number of funds currently raising increased by 45 percent.
  • The average amount of capital committed per fund jumped by 187 percent to €278 million, as the average target size reached €350 million (up 120 percent).
  • Renewables and energy access (SDG 7) overtook climate mitigation (SDG 13) as the predominant focus of funds. The latter raised just €99 billion, a 62 percent reduction compared to the €259 billion raised in 2021. Phenix attributes the drop to a renewed focus on basic needs.
  • Hunger strikes: Capital targeting food, agriculture and farming (SDG 2) saw the most pronounced growth, with €113 billion raised in 2022 compared to €28 billion the previous year. Phenix credits the lack of food exports from Russia and Ukraine as a key reason.
  • Private debt funds are the most active in emerging markets, with 66 percent of funds targeting the space, compared to 42 percent of PE funds.