BlackRock has made a minority investment in Clarity AI, a sustainability analytics and data science platform.
In making the investment, BlackRock joins existing investors including Deutsche Börse, Kibo Ventures, Mundi Ventures, Seaya Ventures and Founders Fund. Terms of the asset manager’s funding move were not disclosed.
Clarity AI’s capabilities will be integrated with Aladdin, BlackRock’s end-to-end operating system for investment professionals, the companies said in a joint announcement.
Clarity AI uses big data and machine learning to create actionable sustainability and impact insights and expand these to a uniquely broad universe of companies, countries and local governments.
Its proprietary technology and data science capabilities across environmental and social impact analyze more than 30,000 companies in nearly 200 countries, the companies said.
Clarity AI also supports regulatory and client reporting to help investors meet new sustainability disclosure obligations, they noted, adding that demand for sustainable investing “accelerated rapidly” last year.
Global investors in mutual funds and exchange-traded funds invested $326 billion in sustainable assets in the 12 months to November 2020, a 97% increase over the same period in the prior year, the companies said, citing third-party data.
The investment was the “latest step from BlackRock’s Aladdin platform as it continues to invest in its sustainability capabilities, which last year added 1,200 sustainability metrics and established data partnerships to help investors understand ESG and physical climate risks and opportunities,” the companies added.
BlackRock also recently unveiled Aladdin Climate, which helps investors understand and act on climate risk.
Latest Deal for iCapital
Fintech platform iCapital Network has agreed to acquire the assets of AI Insight, an alternative investment education and compliance platform, for an undisclosed amount.
AI Insight offers financial advisors investment research, training, qualification and compliance support for a wide range of alternative investments, including private capital, hedge funds, nontraded real estate investment trusts (REITs), business development companies and alternative mutual funds.
Its learning management system offers unbiased, fund-specific e-learning modules on private investment strategies to independent broker dealers and RIAs focused on expanding the scope of products available to their clients.
“The conversations between iCapital and AI Insight for this began last summer and the deal was signed on Friday,” an iCapital spokesperson said. “iCapital recognized that AI Insight’s cultural and business approach aligned with iCapital’s mission.”
“The growing interest in alternative investments and a regulatory environment expanding access to these opportunities are heightening the demand for in-depth and accessible education and compliance support,” according to Lawrence Calcano, CEO and chairman of iCapital Network.