Women-owned and led Chicago-based venture capital and private equity firm Impact Engine announced today the close of its first private equity fund. The $31.5 million fund will make investments in growth equity and buyout impact funds, as well as directly investing in growth-stage companies driving improvements in economic empowerment, education, environmental sustainability, and health.

The new fund is led by Impact Engine Managing Partner Priya Parrish. Highlighting the motivation behind the fund, Parrish said:

“The size and scope of the middle market opportunity set is large and growing, yet launching a new private equity fund with a strong commitment to driving positive impact has proven to be difficult unless you already have access to capital. We launched this fund to fill that gap, as companies need purpose-aligned capital throughout their life cycle. We’re here to support proven private equity professionals building high caliber investment firms that drive superior results for investors and society.”

According to Impact Engine, the new fund will invest approximately 60% of its capital in growth or buyout private equity funds with a firm-wide commitment to investing in companies driving positive impact. The firm stated that it aims to support both emerging impact investment managers, as well as “impact whisperers,” established managers quietly evolving their investment process towards intentional impact outcomes. The remaining 40% will be invested directly in operating companies, seeking to help growth-stage companies in scaling impact alongside profits.

Jessica Droste Yagan, Impact Engine’s CEO, said:

”Our investor base continues to grow as family offices and institutions are drawn to our team’s rigorous and authentic approach to investing and assessing impact, as well as the support Impact Engine provides them in exploring broader impact investing opportunities and connecting with their impact investing peers.”