In a significant move towards addressing global challenges and promoting sustainable development, leading investment firm KKR recently closed its $2.8 billion Global Impact Fund II ("GIF II"). The fund, succeeding its predecessor, is designed to invest in companies whose products and services contribute to advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Launched in 2018, KKR Global Impact aimed to identify and invest in proven companies offering scalable, commercial solutions to global issues. The success of the initial fund prompted the launch of GIF II, and KKR Partner and Co-Head, Robert Antablin, expressed gratitude for the continued support from investors in this venture.
The fund's primary focus lies on supporting the SDGs through investments in companies that demonstrate both strong financial performance and high social impact. Key areas of concentration include climate action, sustainable living, lifelong learning, and inclusive growth. By targeting critical issues such as climate change, non-renewable resource use, education quality, and social and economic injustice, KKR Global Impact aims to make a meaningful contribution to global progress.
Ken Mehlman, KKR Partner and Co-Head of KKR Global Impact, highlighted the fund's strategic alignment with urgent global issues. The fund addresses challenges such as the energy transition, supply chain resiliency, digitization, and the pressing need for upskilling in the face of evolving job requirements. Mehlman emphasized that the skills demanded for the average U.S. job had changed by 37% since 2016, underscoring the need for a substantial acceleration in upskilling initiatives.
KKR Global Impact stands out not only for its financial contributions but also for the comprehensive support it provides to its portfolio firms. With a dedicated team of over 20 professionals leveraging KKR's global resources, the fund goes beyond traditional financing to ensure the success of its investments.
Since its inception in 2018, KKR Global Impact has invested in 18 startups, including notable names like GreenCollar, CoolIT, Advanta, Lightcast (previously Emsi Burning Glass), and CMC Machinery. These investments span a range of sectors, reflecting the fund's commitment to diverse solutions for diverse challenges.
The success of GIF II is attributed to the support of a broad base of investors, including state pensions, family offices, insurance firms, and others. In addition to external contributions, KKR itself is demonstrating its commitment by investing $250 million in the fund through its balance sheet, affiliates, and employee commitments.
By aligning financial success with social responsibility, KKR is positioning itself at the forefront of impact investing, leveraging its influence and resources to drive positive change worldwide.