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ESG ratings giant EcoVadis goes unicorn with $500M Series C

A unicorn rears up with a stack of cash speared on its horn.

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

EcoVadis, a sustainability ratings provider, has raised $500 million in a funding round that lifts the company's valuation to $1 billion.

Why it matters: The blockbuster Series C round highlights the investor appetite into the fragmented ESG ratings space. The demand comes despite growing ESG backlash and intense headwinds for later-stage fundraising.

The details: The round was led by private equity firm Astorg and BeyondNetZero, the climate investing venture backed by General Atlantic.

  • Singapore's GIC and Princeville Capital's Climate Technology Fund also participated.

Of note: An EcoVadis spokesperson said the company's valuation is "at or above $1 billion." The company works with 95,000 businesses in 175 countries on their ESG ratings.

Driving the news: "We were seeing our growth accelerating," co-founder and co-CEO Frédéric Trinel tells Axios, "and it doesn't show any sign of stopping."

  • "If we have to triple the size of the company, then we need cash."

Zoom in: The company's sheer size could put it in position to standardize the "E" in ESG ratings, Rhea Hamilton, managing director at BeyondNetZero, tells Axios.

  • "We just don’t see anyone else out there in the landscape at this scale," she says.

What's next: EcoVadis plans to spend its cash on acquisitions, Trinel tells Alan. First up, a planned purchase of a smaller, undisclosed company in Q2.

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