2021: a record year for impact innovation

A year on since the launch of our dedicated Impact startup database at Impact Fest, we take a look at the venture and innovation impact ecosystem, and the geographies driving record global investment, in partnership with ImpactCity, Tech Nation and Danske Bank.

Report - 2021: a record year for impact innovation

Record investment and valuations

Impact startups have raised a record €39B so far in 2021, surpassing by €16B the full calendar year 2020. In addition, impact startups are now worth a combined €1.6T.

See VC investment

There are now also 146 impact unicorns globally, 52 of which passed the billion dollar mark in 2021 alone.

Europe and North America lead for impact investing

Europe is the region with the highest share of impact investing as a total of VC investment.

Yet, North America attracts the highest amount of impact funding compared to other geographies. Impact startups in developing countries attract just a fraction of impact investment, though this is growing rapidly from a low base.

Climate-aware startups dominate

As the world’s focus is on the climate emergency during the UN’s Climate Conference in Glasgow, COP26, we can see that startups tackling Climate Action and Affordable and Clean Energy are already the most attractive UN Sustainable Development Goals for investors. These startups have raised a combined €100B+ since 2017.

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Report - 2021: a record year for impact innovation