Business sustainability ratings provider EcoVadis announced today that it has raised $500 million in the largest-ever equity financing for a sustainability data SaaS company. The deal values the company at well over $1 billion, making EcoVadis the latest ESG data “unicorn.”

EcoVadis provides sustainability ratings for over 95,000 companies, enabling businesses to monitor and improve the sustainability performance of their value chains, including their own businesses as well as their trading partners and suppliers. Last month, for example, Deutsche Bank partnered with EcoVadis on its new requirement for all major vendors to undergo sustainability assessments.

As businesses have increasingly turned the focus of their sustainability efforts to encompass their value chains, demand for sustainability data has grown significantly. EcoVadis reported that its revenue has grown by 50% over the past year, and its global workforce has reached 1,300 employees.

Frédéric Trinel, co-founder and co-CEO of EcoVadis, said:

“This investment is validation of EcoVadis’ model for scaling impact across global value chains, despite the pandemic, geopolitical or financial headwinds. We continue to experience record demand as more companies are empowered to integrate the planet and society into their business operations.”

The equity financing was led by General Atlantic’s climate solutions-focused investment fund Beyond Net Zero, and private equity investor Astorg, with participation from investors including Singapore-based GIC and Princeville Capital’s Climate Technology Fund. CVC Capital Partners, which invested $200 million in EcoVadis in 2020, remains the company’s largest institutional shareholder.

Rhea Hamilton, Managing Director at BeyondNetZero, said:

“We invest in companies that have the potential to combat climate change at scale. We believe EcoVadis has all the critical elements to make global impact and a meaningful contribution to the net zero transition, including a high-quality business model, strong leadership, innovative technology and a bold vision for driving ESG-oriented transformations across supply chains and industries.”    

Proceeds from the financing will be used to accelerate EcoVadis’ global scale-up, and to help the company further develop its artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, and make strategic acquisitions.

Trinel added:

“We expect this investment to enable us to build on our traction to meet companies – including SMEs and private companies – at any stage of their sustainability journey, and collaboratively drive improvement in practices and impact at scale.”