The Case Foundation, in partnership with ImpactSpace and Crunchbase, is developing the Impact Investing Network Map to show the connections between investors, companies and funds within Impact Investing. We believe bringing the connections between investors and companies to life will foster a better understanding of the size, breadth and depth of the impact investing ecosystem.
It’s time to pull back the curtain and show the activity that’s driving Impact Investing. The Beta version of the Network Map, will catalyze field-wide efforts to break down information barriers to create the necessary on-ramps for all, to advance the growth of the Impact Investing field.
WHY IMPACT INVESTING?
We use the definition of Impact Investing provided by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN): “investments made into companies, organizations and funds with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. Impact investments can be made in both emerging and developed markets and are intended to be measurable”
During the last few years, we’ve seen accelerated interest in Impact Investing. The Network Map aims to spotlight the opportunity to create a burgeoning impact investment market with billions of dollars flowing into thousands of deals.
HOW TO USE THE NETWORK MAP
We have designed a data-powered visualization of global impact investments paired with preliminary insights. Using a system of filters, users can sift through thousands of data points. The Network Map demonstrates relationships between companies and their funders through visual connections that represent historical investment transactions.
The Network Map consists of two main components – the map itself and the Insights. We hope that the ability to view the full landscape based on our current dataset, filtering functions to customize your search and preliminary data Insights will shine a light on the real value in exploring Impact Investing. Most importantly, we hope that you too are inspired to help us fill the information gaps and truly depict the scale of Impact Investing by submitting your data.
You can use the Network Map to identify real examples of completed deals according to your individual interests. Though our Beta version features a limited dataset, you can begin to explore:
- What companies, funds and investors are active in specific sectors;
- How different actors relate to one another within the ecosystem; and
- Current information that will update and improve as more data is aggregated into the tool.
BETA TESTING, FUTURE UPGRADES & GETTING INVOLVED!
We are currently showcasing the Beta version of the Network Map, and we’re building it to present the best publicly available information on impact investments to date. However, it currently represents only a fraction of the transactions, companies and investors across the impact investing ecosystem.
The Network Map is only as strong as the data we all contribute. That’s why at this early stage, we are exhaustively testing the Network Map platform, functionality and key assumptions that guide its design. Our hope is to create the tool that will facilitate easier sharing of impact investing data at scale.
As the Network Map undergoes future development, the platform will incorporate recommendations and feedback from you – the users. We hope that you’ll get involved in shaping the future of the Network Map.
Here’s how you can be a part of this effort:
- Submit Your Data – We know that impact investing tools are only as good as the data that powers them. There is much more information that needs to be included and you may have a critical piece of the puzzle. Don’t be left off of the Network Map, share your data today through the ImpactSpace website.
- Stay Informed – Sign up today to receive updates regarding the Network Map.
- Share Your Opinion – This is the Beta version of the Network Map, and your feedback will help us improve it. To provide specific data to the Network Map, or to provide us with other input, please use the feedback form.
Public & Transparent Data
The Network Map is intended to represent the best publicly available data on companies, investors and transactions in Impact Investing. This data – much like the platform – is in Beta. That means we have some work to do filling information gaps and improving data accuracy. Through ongoing collaboration with our data partners, the data featured in the Network Map will aspire to best represent the most accurate transaction, relationship and organizational information that is publicly available.
When exploring the Network Map and Insights, please keep in mind the following:
- The data in the Network Map should be viewed and used for informational purposes only
- It is meant to provide some examples of impact investments to-date
- It showcases the potential landscape of activity across size, geographic scope and impact objectives
- The information in the Network Map should not be used as part of any due diligence process. It should not be used to source or vet companies, investors or investments.
Due to the public nature of the data presented in the Beta version of the Network Map, not all entries will have been independently verified or confirmed by the specific organizations, groups, individuals, corporations and institutions represented.
The inclusion of any information within the Impact Investing Network Map or accompanying articles and documentation is not an indication of an endorsement, recommendation or advisement with regard to any investment decisions.
The Network Map data comes from our two data partners: ImpactSpace and Crunchbase, through use of their individual APIs (find more information on ImpactSpace’s API and Crunchbase’s API). Raw data input and modifications, as well as individual company, investor and transaction details are modified directly in our partners’ platforms, then visualized in the Network Map with some minor taxonomy mapping to maintain standard language throughout the platform.
The Network Map does not manipulate, customize or edit any data. Instead, we rely on the work of our partners to display the information which is available within their proprietary databases. For that reason, we are integrating and layering third party data through API connection or CSV upload, and not managing an independent database to power the Network Map – this will also allow the platform to continue to display data from multiple partners in the future.
The Network Map taxonomy is designed in an effort to capture the best, standardized impact investing language currently available. We are prioritizing frameworks that can easily be integrated with the existing infrastructure of our data partners.
The terms below indicate the filtering criteria currently available in the Network Map relationship tool:
- Objectives: The Network Map incorporates the Social Impact Objectives, Environmental Impact Objectives and Operational Impacts, as provided by the Global Impact Investing Network’s (GIIN) IRIS framework. You can find additional details about each impact indicator respectively through the GIIN’s website: Social Impact Objectives, Environmental Impact Objectives and Operational Impact.
In order to capture a more robust range of social impact activity identified as valuable by experts, you will find the following amendments and additions to the Social Impact Objectives:
Equality and empowerment was amended to include “minorities/previously excluded populations”
“Women and girls” was added
“Low income country” was added – this qualification is determined by the geographic impact focus of a company or investor, and will only be applied for those entries that have indicated an impact geography within the countries identified by the World Bank as “low income.”
- Industry: To highlight the diverse makeup of social enterprises, we determined that a “traditional” menu of corporate industry categories would be ideal for the Beta version of the Network Map. The Network Map includes industries consistent with the list used in the GIIRS rating system. This industry classification may allow users that are less familiar with the language of impact investing to more easily recognize corporations by their common industry classification.
- Certifications: In an effort to highlight the best publicly available data, the Network Map provides insights into companies that have a formal affiliation with third party intermediates or ratings frameworks. Various companies and investors have submitted themselves for evaluation by standards and rating agencies. Where available, the Network Map demonstrates which companies and investors have earned these certifications.
A lack of information-sharing around investment and performance data is not a new phenomenon. Across many types of investing, we know that the culture of sharing is not as robust as we’d like it to be. We believe sharing of this transaction-level information can begin to tactically educate new investors with examples of actual impact investments. The ability to create a culture of transparent information-sharing will be necessary for the Network Map to grow and thrive.
For the Beta version of the Network Map, there are limitations on how we can track investment activity by individual investors; therefore, it’s important to keep in mind the following, when observing transaction-level detail:
- For each qualified financing or investment round in the Network Map, it is only possible to identify investors that have disclosed their participation in that round
- It is only possible to indicate the overall total fundraising of the round, if that information has been made publicly available
- The Network Map does not display the individual contribution of each disclosed investor within a given fundraising round; the data does not attribute any portion of an overall investment round amount to any individual or group of investors
We are appreciative of the resources and expertise provided by our advisors. We utilized elements of the CASE Smart Impact Capital, Impact Capital 101: Supply and Demand diagram to help illustrate the flow of capital between the supply and demand side actors. Check out the full video to learn more on capital flows within Impact Investing.
The Impact Investing Network Map provides many different ways to view the data we currently have around Impact Investing and social enterprise. While we’re most excited about what the Insights can begin to show us, we see an opportunity to work together to fill the gaps it surfaces.
The Insights are designed to provide an overview of the current dataset within the Network Map. The University of Chicago, Center of Data Science and Public Policy, performed the analysis and structuring of these Insights. Because the charts, graphs and figures update dynamically through the same API connections previously mentioned, the Data Insights will track the quality of data-sharing as data is updated across the Network Map.
Please keep in mind that the Insights do not provide insights, trends or representative analysis for the Impact Investing field broadly, and only provide information as it relates to the data in the Network Map.
Network Map & Partner Terms
As detailed above, the Network Map contains only data provided by our data partners, ImpactSpace and Crunchbase. As such, access to and use of the data is strictly subject to the individual terms set forth by these organizations. Please review the terms of service for ImpactSpace and Crunchbase.
ABOUT THE PARTNERS
The Case Foundation, established by digital pioneers Jean and Steve Case, invests in people and ideas that can change the world. For nearly two decades, the Foundation has focused on creating programs and investing in people and organizations that harness entrepreneurship, innovation, technology and collaboration to address urgent social challenges. For the past three years, the Case Foundation has been supporting the movement to build a stronger impact investing ecosystem and providing opportunities to educate and activate investors.
ImpactSpace is the open data platform powering the global impact marketplace. Together with its sister site, ImpactAlpha – a media brand that is redrawing the boundaries of business for a new era of investing – ImpactSpace is providing stories and data to investors, entrepreneurs and other market participants driving business advantage with social and environmental impact. ImpactSpace makes information about the impact market readily available to everyone and maintainable by anyone. It helps you connect with companies and investors generating financial returns through the creation of environmental and social value.
Crunchbase is the destination for discovering industry trends, investments and news about hundreds of thousands of public and private companies globally. From startups to Fortune 500s, Crunchbase provides a depth and breadth that ensures its data is recognized as the primary source of business intelligence by millions of users globally.
We’d like to include a special thank you to Cathy Clark, Faculty Director at the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship, for her time, candor and priceless advisement throughout the development of the Beta version of the Network Map.