Today we publish our deal level data up to June 2016, including Big Society Capital’s deals as well as social investment deals made by other investors and arranged by intermediaries which did not receive our investment.
In our last publication we had 237 transactions from 23 contributors and now we have increased that number to 716 transactions from 30 contributors. Comparing the coverage of the data to the recent Market Sizing report the dataset represents 32% of committed capital. We recognise this data brings together the considerable work of intermediaries and charities and social enterprises, and the additional resource requirement of providing data. We are grateful for the combined efforts to increase broader understanding of how social investment is being used.
We encourage everyone to explore the data and use it to answer questions about what is happening in social investment and to help drive performance. We have already heard positive feedback on how the deal level data is being used by fund managers to benchmark their deployment as well as by charities and social enterprise to better understand how other organisations are using social investment.
Nevertheless, the data remains patchy and there are a number of caveats one needs to take into account when looking at the data. These include but are not limited to:
- Due to the increase in contributors we had for this dataset, the data has further gaps in some data fields as organisations who have not received investment from Big Society Capital might not capture information as per the data fields tracked in this dataset.
- As we are capturing transactions from a social investor into or that benefits a charity or social enterprises, there could be several transactions involved in a deal.
- There will be some overlap between some transactions, as the activity of arrangers (such as ClearlySo) is counted separately to the activity of fund investors. Where possible we have tried to reduce duplications of transactions.
- In this publication we have not captured the transactions that have been repaid but will be doing so in future publications
- We have asked fund managers, banks and other intermediaries to provide the contract signing date to capture all investments that are available to charities and social enterprises to access. This is not always the date captured by the fund managers and other intermediaries and therefore the data contains a mix of committee approval dates and contract signing dates.
- We have chosen to capture the value of the investment commitment at the point of investment committee approval. In some investments the value drawn down by the charity or social enterprise varies from the initial commitment and we were unable to capture that information.
- A number of our funds, banks and arrangers do not classify the loans they have made according to Big Society Capital’s Outcome Matrix and we have therefore had to match with those categories which may not be a perfect alignment. Where organisations were unable to provide the outcome areas and the names of investees were provided we made our best attempts at identifying the outcome areas.
- Direct investments into intermediaries that would classify themselves as social enterprises are included in this dataset (e.g. our £15m equity investment into Charity Bank) and therefore is likely to impact the numbers.
In addition to the deal level data we are also publishing the metrics investees are using to measure their impact. We ask this of all our investees, and by making the data public, we hope it will be used by organisations addressing similar social challenges to learn from their peers. The publication of this data will also create the framework for us to report on organisations’ impact in the future.
Both these datasets are just a first step in improving the availability and quality of data in the social investment market and we look forward to working with our stakeholders to continue making progress on the challenge of data in the market.