Novata Gets Additional Funding for Private-Markets ESG Platform
The investment of $21 million ranks among the largest-ever initial rounds of fundraisings for a public-benefit corporation, Novata Chief Executive Officer Alex Friedman said in an interview. Public-benefit companies are for-profit entities set up with the goal of doing good for the public.
“Private markets represent about 50% of U.S. GDP, which is a substantial and historically overlooked opportunity to drive positive and meaningful change,” said Friedman, who previously worked at UBS Group AG and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation before co-founding Jackson Hole Economics and then New York-based Novata. There are about 212 million private companies around the world, he said.
Novata’s platform will offer closely held companies and private-market investors a way to analyze environmental, social and governance data. The information can be used to compare different companies against their industry peers.
It essentially serves as “on ramp for ESG reporting,” and provides a secure place to store data and tools for reporting to stakeholders, Friedman said.
Customers involved in beta-testing will have access to the platform before the end of the year, and broad access will be available in early 2022, he said.
Margot Brandenburg, senior program officer for Mission Investments at the Ford Foundation, said in a statement that Novata “brings forth the technology infrastructure and benchmarking capabilities needed to enable private companies and their owners to manage their impact on society.”
In addition to the principal investors, Novata’s founding employees are investing in the company through the Series A funding. And there are several private equity firms that serve as advisers to the Novata consortium, including Bridgepoint, Clearlake Capital Group, Kohlberg & Co., KPS Capital Partners, Lindsay Goldberg, Vistria Group, Summa Equity and Thomas H. Lee Partners. Vistria Group, Clearlake Capital and Kohlberg have made investments in support of Novata, with all proceeds to be donated to charity.
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