From 1850, it greatly participated in the capital of newly created railways companies. The 1931 Finance Act authorised Caisse des Dépôts to invest inflows to the savings funds in corporate shares and bonds. From 1994, it also invested in SMEs with the SME Innovation programme, to strengthen their equity, encourage innovation and support the risk capital market. Nowadays, the group participates in the equity of the majority of listed companies.
The creation of CDC Entreprises, which succeeded CDC PME created in 1998, and Qualium Investissement, created in 2004, aimed to support venture capital activity, which would be strengthened in 2007 by the creation of a new subsidiary, le Fond Stratégique Investissement (FSI).
In 2013, the merger of CDC Entreprises and FSI gave birth to the Public Investment Bank (Bpifrance).