Dealflow | March 23, 2021

New York State pension backs 57 Stars’ impact fund

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, March 23 – Private equity firm 57 Stars earned its reputation for backing companies and funds driving “technological disruption” on behalf of emerging consumers. The Washington, D.C.-based firm’s  initiative will enable it to make direct investments by co-investing capital alongside its portfolio funds.

The New York State Common Retirement Fund committed $50 million to 57 Stars Global Opportunity Fund 5 Direct Impact, according to the pension’s monthly investment disclosure.

57 Stars will focus on health, financial inclusion, housing, education, and energy and environmental sustainability. 

57 Stars is eying high-impact applications for mobile adoption, e-commerce and particularly artificial intelligence. “We see a lot of applications for artificial intelligence already across our portfolio, whether it’s delivery models for healthcare or financial services,” 57 Stars’ Carl Balit told ImpactAlpha. The firm isn’t taking “an explicit AI focus,” Balit added, “but we expect many of the companies will have AI embedded in their solutions.”

The New York State pension also invested $100 million in 57 Stars’ Europe-focused positive ESG fund.