As the world locks down to try and catch up with COVID-19, some businesses have been working for a long time to ensure they are ready and able to support in times of global crises. A growing community of companies we’re invested in through our fund universe are leaning into their roles as corporate citizens, extending and repurposing their services to reinforce global efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the healthcare industry, companies are ramping up their production and distribution of testing kits to enable more timely and accurate detection of the virus; providing lab automation solutions to support vital research into the incubation time, transmission characteristics and evolution of the virus; and scaling up the supply of respiratory care equipment to treat patients experiencing severe breathing difficulties. Others in the pharmaceutical industry are actively working on the development of potential vaccines, aiming to begin clinical testing within the next month.
And it’s not just the medical industries who are stepping up. One of the data centre operators in our fund universe is working around the clock to ensure the resilience of its global network of data centres, in order to safeguard the cloud connection of thousands of businesses currently navigating the challenges of social distancing; meanwhile an African telecoms provider has waived fees for its mobile money transfer platform to encourage digital payments and minimise physical contact; and a global technology company is providing the digital architecture to enable work colleagues to remain connected, collaborative and productive during home-working.
These are just a handful of solutions-led companies working to bring genuine benefits to society during the current COVID-19 crisis. Every selection, recommendation and investment decision we take is done through two lenses: our investment analysis lens and our impact analysis lens. As ever, our focus is on addressing social and environmental impact whilst generating financial returns – the power of impact investing.