NEW YORK — Citi has announced the first investments from its $150 million Citi Impact Fund, an investment fund devoted to backing “double bottom line” companies. The companies receiving funding are Fulcrum BioEnergy, ICON, PadSplit, and The Mom Project.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is requiring us to rethink how we work,” said Ed Skyler, Head of Global Public Affairs at Citi. “These companies have created distinct approaches for what’s possible as we address some of the biggest challenges we face today, such as creating affordable housing, reducing carbon emissions and bringing top female talent back to the workplace. We’re proud to invest in these four companies that are having a positive impact on society.”
Launched earlier this year, the $150 million Citi Impact Fund is the largest fund of its kind to be launched by a bank using its own capital. The fund is focused on companies that are addressing five societal challenges:
- Workforce Development – training and connecting people to careers.
- Financial Capability – increasing access to the financial system.
- Physical & Social Infrastructure – improving an individual’s way of life through housing, healthcare and transportation.
- Sustainability – addressing issues related to energy, water and sustainable production.
- Access To Capital & Economic Opportunity – addressing disparities in access to capital and economic opportunity through investments in companies founded by women and minorities.
Fulcrum BioEnergy converts municipal solid waste into low-carbon, renewable transportation fuels, including jet fuel and diesel, via waste processing and refining facilities. The company is diverting large volumes of waste from local landfills, many of which are overtaxed or at capacity, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 100 percent. Fulcrum’s products are certified as “below zero carbon” by the California Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) given both avoided landfill methane and low carbon transportation fuel profile.
ICON is an Austin-based company developing technologies that advance humanity. Using proprietary 3D printing robotics, software and advanced materials, ICON is shifting the paradigm of homebuilding on Earth and beyond. The company recently received Fast Company’s 2020 World Changing Ideas Award for building a 3D printer that has 3D printed resilient, dignified homes in Mexico and the U.S.
PadSplit, headquartered in Atlanta, is a mission-driven marketplace that provides lower income workers with safe, clean and affordable housing. Founded by an affordable housing advocate, PadSplit incentivizes more affordable housing creation by monetizing underutilized rooms in single-family homes and increasing profitability for property owners, without requiring public subsidies. Each PadSplit home includes furniture, utilities, wifi, laundry, 24/7 access to telemedicine and credit reporting with its weekly rent payment. By having a lower rent burden, PadSplit residents are able to save more of their income and work toward financial independence.
The Mom Project is a female-founded and -led job marketplace based in Chicago that connects women to companies that are committed to designing and supporting a better workplace. For women using the platform, The Mom Project provides job opportunities and a community with guidance and insights into various aspects of integrating motherhood and work. For companies, The Mom Project not only provides access to an experienced talent pool of more than 300,000 women, but helps build the infrastructure needed to recruit, retain, and promote women. This includes an analytics platform called WerkLabs that evaluates flexible/remote work arrangements and provides resources on best-in-class practices, policies, and processes for supporting women in the workplace.
These companies represent the first of many investments Citi will make through the Citi Impact Fund. Investments focus on 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 exclusively for earlier stage seed investments in businesses led or owned by women and minorities.
The Citi Impact Fund is a new component of Global Public Affairs’ Community Investing and Development team which aims to enhance positive social impact and financial innovations that benefit underserved communities around the world. This includes the work of Citi Inclusive Finance and the Citi Impact Fund in addition to the philanthropic work conducted by the Citi Foundation. Through equity investing, lending and grant making, Citi and the Citi Foundation are working in new ways to effect positive and meaningful change in the communities around the world.