Investing to save the world: why is impact investing set to become a $1 trillion industry by 2020?

Impact investing, as defined by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) is ‘an exciting and rapidly growing industry powered by investors who are determined to generate social and environmental impact as well as financial returns.’ The GIIN’s 2018 investor survey estimated that there are now in excess of $228 billion in impact investing assets, which represents double the prior year estimate. Forbes estimate that the market could reach $1 trillion by the end of 2020.

Growth in this area is particularly evident amongst millennials who are shifting the investment landscape. Morgan Stanley reported that millennial investors are nearly twice as likely to invest in companies or funds that target specific social or environmental outcomes. Equally, a US Trust survey* revealed that 75 per cent of wealthy millennials “consider the social and environmental impact of the companies they invest in to be an important part of investment decision-making”.

Trends across the pond suggest that impact investing could be the next big thing. ‘Stash’ is a US investment app which offers a number of impact investing themes and has experienced huge success having grown to an estimated 2.5 million users.  

Whilst mobile apps have transformed the world of investing by opening the industry up to a new and younger audience, many millennials are deterred from investing due to the negative impacts which it can cause. Many traditional portfolio funds will be invested in an array of ethically questionable sectors ranging from oil, tobacco and arms companies to some of the global tech giants, many of whom have suffered from data privacy issues or accusations of tax avoidance amongst other scandals.  

There is no reason why returns should be compromised for investing in a socially conscious way; the two are not mutually exclusive but rather should intersect simultaneously as a dual goal – which explains why impact investing has the potential to now become mainstream. However, apps which offer impact investing are few and far between.

Tickr, a newly launched app, aims to fill this gap in the market and become the leading app to focus entirely on the impact investing space having launched on the App Store in December 2018. Tickr’s goal is to make investing better for everyone and provide a platform for investors to make money by doing good and helping businesses solve some of the world’s problems.

Users can invest in areas including climate change, social impact and disruptive technology and there are very few barriers to getting started with just a £5 initial investment required. Tickr hope that this accessibility and a two minute sign-up process will encourage everyday savers to become a new generation of first-time investors. Whilst in the past, impact investing has generally been confined to large institutions and high-net worth individuals, Tickr hope that this initiative will open up the space to everyone. The company have already caught the eye having been recognised as one of the top 33 companies in the UK tech sector by Tech Nation. 

There are clear indications of growth in the impact investing space and the millennial generation, in particular, seem increasingly inclined to invest in a way which triggers positive social and environmental consequences. As this trend continues, we can envisage an age where it is known only as ‘investing’, an age in which investors will have comprehensively intertwined the desire to make profit and enhance social wellbeing. In the process, this will contribute to long-lasting prosperity, generating returns whilst simultaneously solving some of the world’s most pressing problems.   

Tickr Ltd will imminently be launching a Series A fundraising round. If you are a venture capital or private equity firm with an interest in UK fintech and would like to find out more about this opportunity, please contact damian.ryan@moorestephens.com or will.tingle@moorestephens.com.  

To find out more about Tickr please visit https://tickr.co.uk or watch here.

* Source: 2014 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth ® survey

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