Citi announced today its next round of investments through the Citi Impact Fund, a $200 million fund launched last year to invest in companies that are addressing some of the biggest societal challenges, including workforce development, financial capability, physical and social infrastructure, sustainability, and access to capital and economic opportunity.
The new companies in this round include Daylight, Flume, Jetty, Lacuna, Pathstream, Recycle Track Systems and Stackshare. To date, this brings the Impact Fund’s total number of investments to 23 companies—more than half of which are founded by women and/or minorities. The Citi Impact Fund’s Black Entrepreneurs Investment Initiative—a $50 million capital commitment from Citi to reduce the wealth gap by creating equitable access to venture capital funding for Black founders—has made nine early-stage equity investments in tech-enabled ventures led by Black founders.
“The portfolio of the Citi Impact Fund keeps growing as we continue to find inspiring companies that are taking on solutions for the physical, financial and social infrastructure challenges that our communities are facing,” said Ed Skyler, Head of Global Public Affairs at Citi. “From addressing lack of internet access to reducing the burden of medical care, these companies are rethinking what’s possible, and we are proud to deploy our balance sheet in support of true ‘double bottom-line’ companies.”
“Home broadband in the U.S. lags far behind in both competitive options and fiber penetration compared to many other countries, and the events of the last 18 months have really highlighted how this disproportionately affects lower income communities across the U.S. in both urban and rural settings,” said Prashanth Vijay, Co-founder and CEO, Flume Internet. “Flume is working to bridge this digital divide by bringing premium fiber services to overlooked locations in major cities. We’re excited to work with Citi, who has been a critical partner in this vision and is powering us to not only deploy but also educate residents about the benefits and most productive ways to use their fiber connection.”
“Our mission is to help the millions of working adults in the U.S. who are looking to transition to economically stable and personally fulfilling careers but have hit a dead end by offering a fast, flexible, and guided educational experience providing a direct path into higher skill roles,” said Eleanor Cooper, Co-Founder, CEO, Pathstream. “Individuals come to us to get in the doors of employers, and employers come to us as a solution for attracting, retaining, and upskilling their frontline workforce by providing digital skills & promising career pathways to historically high-turnover, dead-end jobs. We’re thrilled to have Citi on board, both because of their history supporting innovative education and for their partnership in promoting equity issues more widely.
Daylight is a New York, N.Y.-based company and the first and only digital banking platform in the U.S. specifically designed for the LGBT+ community by the LGBT+ community. Led by LGBT+ entrepreneurs and co-founders Rob Curtis (CEO), Billie Simmons (COO) and Paul Barnes Hoggett (CTO), Daylight offers a holistic set of financial products, tools and advice to help the LGBT+ community simplify banking. Daylight's flagship products and services have been designed to improve financial equality and inclusion for the estimated 30-million-plus Americans who identify as LGBT+, a large, untapped market.
Flume Internet is a minority-founded internet service provider that enables high-speed low-cost internet access by leasing unused networks from cities and utilities. Based in New York, N.Y., Flume builds and installs optical edge technology designed to access these unused fiber assets in order to provide home broadband options for urban and suburban communities at low to no cost. Flume provides broadband access to customers along with premium WiFi management via tiered subscription options ranging from $35 - $50.The company will be expanding service to other cities on the East Coast in 2022 and strives to accelerate fiber to the home deployments all across the U.S.
Jetty is a New York, N.Y.-based financial services company on a mission to make renting a home more affordable and flexible for everyone in a way that benefits both property owners and renters. Using a deposit replacement product (Jetty Deposit) as well as a flexible rent payment product (Jetty Rent) property managers can increase lease conversion, reduce bad debt and streamline operations. For the renter, Jetty products lower the barriers to renting, saving residents thousands of dollars and providing them with flexible rental payment structures.
Lacuna Technologies is a software company based in Palo Alto, Calif., and it builds and manages open-sourced digital tools that allow cities and municipalities to create, communicate, and enforce dynamic transportation policies. Streets are packed with new forms of mobility—delivery services, rideshare vehicles, and even drones. Lacuna's solutions, built on open-source technology, give cities a full and reliable picture of how their roads and airways are changing so that they can create evidence-based policies to address congestion, pollution, access and safety issues, and more. Lacuna paves the way for commercial operators to integrate their modern technologies into cities equitably in a way that works for everyone long-term.
Pathstream supports working adults to transition into high-demand digital skill careers by providing best-in-class online education and job placement. Headquartered in San Francisco, Pathstream builds programs in fields such as data analytics and project management in direct partnership with industry-defining work-tech companies. Pathstream's programs have been increasingly used by Fortune 100 employers as a competitive advantage to recruit, retain, and upskill their frontline workforce.
Recycle Track Systems (RTS) is an environmentally-focused, technology-enabled provider of waste and recycle management services for commercial, public and private entities. Founded in New York City, RTS uses a software platform and proprietary tracking system, leveraging a network of partner haulers, to track materials as they travel to recycling or composting facilities and provides companies with reports that show how much material was diverted from landfill, recycled, and composted. RTS’ objective is to treat waste like a commodity and keep that material in the virtuous cycle from waste generation to its final destinations, contributing to the circular economy.
StackShare is a San Francisco-based enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) company that provides tech stack collaboration for developers. StackShare has a community of more than one million developers and over 40,000 companies that have shared the tech stacks they use. StackShare utilizes a freemium model, offering developers free access to the platform as well as an enterprise subscription tier for companies, which helps companies automatically map out, document, and discuss all the tech stacks being used across their internal engineering teams through deep Git integration. It gives companies real-time visibility into their tech stack inventory, tech data for engineering planning & coordination, and tooling to drive internal collaboration—enabling engineering teams to save hundreds of engineering hours, reduce their potential attack surface, and more easily coordinate with governance and compliance teams.
The Citi Impact Fund is a component of Global Public Affairs’ Community Investing and Development team, which aims to enhance positive social impact and financial innovations that benefit underserved communities around the world. Through equity investing, lending and grant making, Citi and the Citi Foundation are working in new ways to effect positive and meaningful change in the communities around the world including Action for Racial Equity, which committed more than $1 billion in strategic initiatives to help close the racial wealth gap and increase economic mobility in the U.S. Additionally, Citi has committed $1 trillion to sustainable finance by 2030, which includes $500 billion to support activities in support of the SDGs outside of environmental finance—including education, affordable housing, health care, economic inclusion, community finance, international development finance, racial and ethnic diversity and gender equality.