03/11/2022

Util closes $6 million seed investment round led by Eldridge


Raise will support the data provider’s expansion in the U.S. meeting wider demand for ESG coverage.

Global sustainability data provider Util today announced the closing of a $6 million investment round led by Eldridge. Additional participants in the round, designed to expand global footprint and accelerate hiring needs, include the Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE), the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE Global Markets), and founding investor Oxford Science Enterprises (OSE). 

“We’re delighted CBOE and LuxSE share our vision and look forward to working together to integrate sustainability intelligence into the global financial system,” said Patrick Wood Uribe, Util’s CEO. 
 
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“Util’s overarching objective is fully aligned with our exchange’s mission to contribute to the growth of sustainable finance and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. As we accelerate the climate transition, it is increasingly important to be able to map the social and environmental impact of companies. A growing number of investors are now seeking solid sources of sustainability data to evaluate the positive or negative SDG contributions of different companies as this allows them to make informed investment decisions that reflect their sustainability objectives,” said Julie Becker, CEO at LuxSE.

“CBOE is pleased to support the further expansion of Util’s offering and global footprint, which align closely with CBOE’s own areas of strategic focus. We believe Util’s product suite is unique in the market, providing scientifically-based, objective and actionable data sets to market participants positioning around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.  ESG broadly encompasses the most fundamental issues of our day.  In our view, investors and traders will increasingly demand navigational tools such as Util’s to provide direction on their ESG strategies,” said John Deters, Chief Strategy Officer at CBOE.

Customers, including PGIM Quantitative Solutions, Nuveen (a TIAA company), Danske Bank Asset Management, Degroof Petercam Asset Management (DPAM), and a.s.r., work with Util to research companies, report on portfolios, and create differentiated financial products benchmarked against material sustainability issues.

The announcement comes as the team accelerates hiring in key senior roles. Most recently, Util appointed Riaz Shaikh to lead product development. Shaikh was previously Global Head of Data Analytics Strategy, Investment Banking, at Credit Suisse, where he spearheaded strategy and product in relation to alternative, ESG and sustainability data. Earlier this year, Mike Goynes joined Util as CTO, prior to which he was Chief Data Officer at supply-chain AI unicorn Interos.

Util’s innovative approach and insights have been recognised by a number of prestigious awards. Most recently, the company won 'Best Sustainable Investment Research & Ratings Provider' at Investment Week’s Sustainable Investment Awards 2022, where it was also highly commended for 'Best Sustainable Thought Leadership Paper’. Util also won ESG Research of the Year, North America at Environmental Finance’s Sustainable Investment Awards 2022.