Why sustainability pays

A look at startup & scaleup funding trends linked to UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Purpose driven startups are less likely to fail and attract 2-3x more funding than non purpose driven startups, a new report reveals.

The topic of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) within venture capital has gained significant momentum over the last couple of years. Driven by a range of external and internal factors as well as shifting global attitudes, this report will look at the impact the ESG movement has had on the fundraising landscape.

To achieve this, we analyzed over 2,292 companies and measured their ability to raise funds, based on their relevance to UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which is a broader framework within ESG.

SDGs were adopted by the UN in 2015, and form 17 interlinked goals which have been designed to be a blueprint to create a better and more sustainable future for the World. We chose SDGs as the basis of our analysis as they offer a universal, global standard for measuring and categorizing ESGs.

The Most Cited SDG Caused By Startups
Climate Action (SDG #13) is the most common cause or function amongst SDG relevant startups

In our latest report, we highlight the most commonly cited Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and reveal how funding trends have evolved for purpose-driven startups since 2015.

Key findings:

  1. The top ten UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) driving ESG innovation and attracting the most investment globally today
  2. European SDG relevant startups are raising more funding than their American counterparts
  3. The best location to start an SDG relevant startup in Europe
  4. SDG relevant startups are more likely to raise Series A funding rounds but are less likely to exit
  5. SDG relevant startups are less likely to fail than other startups

    Read the report