Novogradac Opportunity Funds Listing: Hundreds of Funds, Billions of Dollars

Published by Brad Stanhope on Thursday, April 2, 2020
Journal Cover Thumb April 2020

The Novogradac Opportunity Funds Listing is a resource of and for investors in opportunity zones (OZs).

The listing ultimately provides much more, though–it helps provide unique data on investments made by qualified opportunity funds (QOFs) through the OZ incentive.

Launched in 2019, the Novogradac Opportunity Funds Listing is a compendium of more than 160 QOFs, including contact information, geographic footprints and types of investment focus. Found at www.opportunityzonesresourcecenter.com, the listing is available to the public.

Data from the Novogradac Opportunity Funds Listing, though, goes deeper. Using information from QOFs on the list and other sources, Novogradac tracks investment by QOFs over time and by focus. The result is a snapshot of a subset of QOFs that is representative of the wider marketplace.

“We believe the [Novogradac] Opportunity Funds Listing provides beneficial data to stakeholders in the opportunity zones incentive that helps them to understand the location and types of investments being targeted and how the use of the incentive is growing,” said John Sciarretti, CPA, a partner in Novogradac’s Dover, Ohio, office and head of the Opportunity Zones Working Group. “As a one-stop location for information about QOFs, this list is invaluable. But the data we gathered from these funds and others has really helped to inform the understanding of the volume of investment and investment trends over time.”

Data from the Novogradac Opportunity Funds Listing includes reporting on funds raised and invested by QOFs from a rolling survey. The information comes from QOFs that voluntarily provide information as well as information on other QOFs gathered from public sources, including press releases. The Novogradac listing does not include proprietary or private funds that are owned or managed by principal investors.

Since Novogradac began reporting on the Novogradac Opportunity Funds Listing in May 2019, there has been a steady increase in the number of QOFs tracked, the number of QOFs reporting raising equity and the amount of raised equity reported. For perspective, in the initial report, there were 136 QOFs listed, with 28 reporting an equity raise of a cumulative $790 million.

By January 2020, there were 502 QOFs, of which 292 reported raising $6.72 billion. That number was expected to approach $10 million as March began.

The QOFs that don’t report–along with the fact that many QOFs haven’t revealed their fundraising levels to Novogradac–means the actual total raised and invested by QOFs is undoubtedly much higher than Novogradac’s numbers, perhaps by a factor of two or three.

“This isn’t an exhaustive list of all QOF investment,” Sciarretti said. “But we believe it’s a representative list. The data seems to be a reliable indicator of larger trends.”

Data from the QOFs on the Novogradac listing includes the geographic and investment-type focus. The geographic focus includes what part of the country a QOF invests, as well as whether QOFs have a single-city, single-state or other focus. The investment-type focus clarifies whether a QOF invests in residential, commercial, hospitality, renewables or operating businesses.

Updates to the investment data from the Novogradac Opportunity Funds Listing are posted at www.novoco.com/blog