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Social Impact

While in the early innings, institutional interest in social impact technology has accelerated in the recent years. Within social impact technology, we include the three following subsectors: nonprofit, CSR (corporate social responsibility) and ESG (environmental, social, governance). Each subsector is at a different place on the adoption curve and has driven a breadth of investment opportunities across asset classes. Nonprofits have historically been laggards in technology adoption, but many larger nonprofits are now using technology to optimize cost-savings. Employees, now more than ever, care about their company’s engaging in social issues and doing more than simply seeking financial success which has driven rigorous adoption of CSR platforms. The development of the triple bottom line (people, planet, profit) has catalyzed ESG adoption and regulation across the world.

Very few businesses in the social impact space have reached enterprise scale. The market continues to be one dominated by best-in-class point solutions, which are limited by relatively small TAMs and limited go-to-market spend. However, as private investment continues in the social impact space, we can expect to see further market consolidation similar to that of Bonterra (merger of EveryAction, Social Solutions, CyberGrants, and Network for Good), Wizehive (merger of Wizehive and Bright Funds), Evertrue (merger of Evertrue and ThankView) and more. We expect this pace to continue as these businesses progress from “nice-to-have” to “need-to-have” type solutions.

Shea has a strong history in the space, advising on many landmark transactions, such as YourCause’s acquisition by Blackbaud, Hg’s majority investment in Benevity, CyberGrants’ acquisition by Apax Partners and iWave’s acquisition by Incline Equity Partners. Beyond transaction work, we are committed to thought leadership in the social impact space as we continue to update our market landscape and provide insights into key trends unfolding across the market.

Coverage Team

Social Impact Transactions