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Resources created and curated to support the growth of impact investing, for those new to the field and for experienced practitioners.

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ImpactAssets 50: A Global Landscape of Impact Investment Fund Managers
The ImpactAssets 50 (IA 50) is the first open-source, publicly published database of experienced private debt and equity impact investment fund managers.
https://www.impactassets.org/impactassets-50

ImpactAssets 50

An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers

CNote Group Inc

Total Assets Under Management: Less than $25M
Asset Class: Cash / Cash Alternatives, Private Debt - Absolute Return / Notes
Primary UN Sustainable Development Goal: 10 – Reduced Inequalities
Housing & Community Development
Small/Medium Business Development
Microfinance/Insurance & Financial Services

Firm Overview

Category: Private Debt - CDFIs

CNote is working to build a more inclusive economy for everyone by offering competitive financial products that drive positive social change. CNote is an award-winning, first-of-its-kind financial platform that allows anyone to make money investing in causes and communities they care about. With the mission of closing the wealth gap, CNote directs every dollar invested toward funding female- and minority-led small businesses, affordable housing and economic development through its nationwide network of CDFI community lenders.


Firm Headquarters: US & Canada
Years of Operation: 3 – 4 years
Total Assets Under Management:
Less than $25M
Total Number of Investors: More than 25
% of Capital from Top 3 Investors: Less than 25%
Investment Thesis:

CNote uses technology to unlock previously inaccessible community investments that empower underserved communities while generating competitive financial returns.

Investment Overview:

CNote was founded on two core principles: everyone deserves a shot at financial freedom and that each of us can play a part in building a more equal world. CNote uses technology to open access for investors (professional and retail) to invest in CDFIs as a way of promoting economic growth and financial inclusion. Through technology, CNote provides a new and sustainable capital source for our community-lender partners, increasing capital access and economic activity in communities that need it most while providing competitive investment products for our clients that are deeply impactful and drive positive social change throughout the United States. Overall, we’re using technology and unified investment administration and diligence processes to make CDFIs an investable asset class. 

Company Differentiator:

CNote offers a suite of fixed income products with flexible liquidity, competitive returns, and measurable social impact. CNote is able to deliver all of this to investors with no fees, minimum investment requirements, and an extremely user friendly platform from which to manage investments. CNote leverages technology to unlock community investing at scale. Compared with traditional community note offerings, CNote is able to provide better returns, more flexible liquidity with shorter term commitments. CNote’s technology-first approach allows us to deliver more value to our customers.

Investment Example

CNote deploys capital exclusively through our CDFI partners, Jamine Moton’s story is an example of the kind of impact our investment generate. Working with Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE), an Atlanta-based CDFI, Moton’s company Skylar Security received a critical business loan that helped her scale operations and was connected with a business coach that helped her through a challenging growth phase in her company. Today, Moton is preparing to scale her company to over $1 million in revenue with more than 200 security providers.

Leadership and Team

Cumulative Leadership Experience in Investing:
30 years or more
Cumulative Impact Experience of Top Three Firm Leaders:
20 – 29 years
Catherine Berman – CEO & Co-Founder More Info

Catherine is a three-time entrepreneur with experience launching and building scalable businesses. Before launching CNote, Catherine served as Managing Director of Charles Schwab where she led a strategy division focused on the future of finance incorporating behavioral economics and predictive analytics. Her previous company, Global Brigades, is now the world’s largest student development firm operating in 5 countries. Over the last two decades, Catherine has held senior roles in both management consulting and venture capital.

Yuliya Tarasava – COO & Co-Founder More Info

Yuliya hosts a decade of experience on Wall Street and has developed financial products on 3 continents. She started her career designing investment solutions for the global asset management firm AMG Funds, and later joined the wealth management boutique Summit Rock Advisors to develop the firm’s risk management framework. Over the years, Yuliya has maintained her passion for demystifying finance, including creating an investment education portal in Russia and advising non-profits and startups around the world.

Danielle Burns – Director of Business Development More Info

I am a passionate and experienced financial business development and marketing professional with 20 years of experience in corporate communications, brand management, strategic planning and technology.

Percentage of Investment Professionals who are Women and/or Under-Represented Groups in Firm's Geographic Focus:
50% or more
Percentage of Management Team who are Women and/or Under-Represented Groups in Firm's Geographic Focus:
50% or more

Financial Performance

Target Financial Returns Relative to Benchmark:
Market Rates
Actual Performance Relative to Target Financial Returns in the Past Three Years:
In line with initial target returns
Financial Reporting Frequency to Investors or Donors
Quarterly

Impact Performance

Percentage of Total Assets Under
Management that are Impact Investments:
100%
Primary Impact Outcomes:
Creating jobs
Increasing access to financial services
Providing housing
Secondary Impact Outcomes:
Addressing climate change and environmental issues
Alleviating poverty
Value-added Services Offered:
Business and legal training
Financial literacy training

Investments systematically target companies where social and/or environmental impact is integral to the product/service being created:

CNote works solely with CDFIs and during our CDFI onboarding and due diligence process we screen for CDFIs with robust financial performance and measurable and proven positive social impact. We also put a priority on CDFIs that have strong representation in leadership that's reflective of the makeup of the communities they serve. 

Investments systematically include social and environmental sustainability practices in the due diligence process:

CNote puts a priority on CDFIs that have strong representation in leadership that's reflective of the makeup of the communities they serve. We believe that it's critical that our partners truly understand, or ideally are a part of, the communities that they serve.

Impact Tracking and Monitoring

Impact is Tracked:
Yes
Social and/or Environmental Impact is Reported to Investors and Donors:
Yes – to the public
Third Party Validations:
Participant on steering committees or leadership roles within impact industry associations
Publisher or contributor to industry white paper or other research in impact investing

Learn More

Key Contact Name: Paris Russell
Phone: (800) 449-6275
Mailing Address:

2323 Broadway Oakland, CA 94612

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