UK impact investor Bridges Ventures has raised £125m for its latest fund, exceeding its £100m target.
The firm’s previous fund closed on £75m in 2007, while its first vehicle garnered £40m in 2002.
Fund III held an initial close back in 2011, having raised £72m. It will continue Bridges Ventures’ focus on the provision of growth capital to SMEs in sectors where underlying social or environmental need creates the opportunity for both commercial returns and positive impacts, the firm said.
Michele Giddens, partner and co-founder of Bridges Ventures said, “Since we founded Bridges over ten years ago we have seen a sea-change in perspectives about the integration of social and environmental issues into the investment process. We believe businesses that contribute to the wider society will have strong and enduring value in the medium and longer term. We can therefore target highly attractive returns by putting societal impact and sustainability at the centre of our investment decisions. We are very grateful to all the existing and new investors that are backing our new fund. Bridges is extremely excited about the opportunities we see to back management teams building high growth, high impact companies.”
The fund has been raised with strong support from existing investors in the earlier Bridges Sustainable Growth Funds. These include institutions such as RLAM (CIS ), HSBC Bank , West Midlands Pension Fund and South Yorkshire Pensions Authority; private equity backers such as 3i and Doughty Hanson; trusts and endowments such as Wittington Investments, All Souls College, Merton College, the R&S Cohen Foundation and SHINE – Support and Help in Education, as well as a number of family offices and high net worth individuals.
New investors to the Bridges Sustainable Growth Funds include the European Investment Fund (EIF), London Pensions Fund Authority, Merseyside Pension Fund, and Flintshire County Council.
Most recently Bridges joined forces with property developer Urbis for sustainable residential development.
Earlier this year the firm sold The Gym to Phoenix Equity Partners for a 3.7x return. In March it exited waste management business Whelan Refining for close to 5x and last year sold hand sanitiser Pure Washrooms for a 3.4x multiple.
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