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The rise of "impact investing" in private equity

U2 frontman Bono at Capitol Hill
Bono co-founded TPG Capital's Rise Fund. Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

"Impact investing" is so hot right now, particularly within a private equity market that has developed a lingering reputation for soulless plundering. But it remains unclear if such efforts actually have an impact beyond public relations.

The state of play: Enter TPG Capital, which is in the midst of raising $3 billion for its second Rise Fund, an impact investing effort co-founded by U2 frontman (and perennial Davos Man) Bono.

Driving the news: This morning TPG Capital announced the launch of Y Analytics, an independent public benefit corporation that will provide actionable data for impact investors — not only so current ones can invest smarter, but also to encourage new entrants.

  • The initial focus will be on capital directed at the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which cover everything from poverty to climate change to water sanitation.
  • Y Analytics will be led by former McKinsey & Co. partner Maryanne Hancock. TPG does not intend to profit from the company (i.e., it won't exit).
  • Per Bono: "Capitalism isn’t immoral, but it is amoral and it needs direction."

Go deeper: The coming reckoning for capitalism