Sustainability data firm ESG Book raises $35 million in latest round
(This story corrects day in third paragraph)
By Simon Jessop
LONDON (Reuters) – Sustainability data firm ESG Book has raised $35 million in its latest funding round, its chief executive told Reuters, amid growing demand to better assess corporate performance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.
ESG Book launched in December with the aim of making such data available free as a public resource, and has already received backing from groups including HSBC and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation.
The Series B round, announced on Thursday, was led by venture firm Energy Impact Partners (EIP) alongside French sustainability investor Meridiam and Allianz X, part of German insurer and asset manager Allianz.
ESG Book planned to use the money to hire more staff, bolster its technology offering and expand into the growing market for such data in the United States, Chief Executive Daniel Klier said.
“At the moment, I see the biggest opportunity in the U.S.,” Klier said. “It’s now more active than any other market, so building out capacity in the U.S. is critical for us.”
The firm would also look to grow its strategic partnerships with some of the world’s biggest companies, including Google, Amazon, State Street and JPMorgan, as it aims to help clients use the data to better inform decision making.
Covering more than 25,000 companies globally, ESG Book’s cloud-based platform allows companies to update their information in real-time, making it accessible, comparable and transparent.
“ESG Book marks the tenth investment by Energy Impact Partners in Europe, and this partnership is driven by a shared vision for radical transparency in sustainability data,” EIP Managing Partner, Europe Nazo Moosa said in a statement.
As trillions of dollars flow into funds targeting companies doing well on issues such as climate change, market regulators last year set out a global framework to police ESG ratings.
(Reporting by Simon Jessop; editing by Philippa Fletcher)