Mid-November seems to be season for new impact funds.
TOMS launches social enterprise fund. “Buy one-get one” poster child TOMS has started its own fund for social start ups. The popular canvas shoe maker seeded the fund with capital it raised by selling 50 percent of company to Bain Capital last year. Bain answered some of the questions raised about that deal when it established a social impact group in April. The new TOMS' fund has made 11 investments so far, including in the online petition site Change.org; the total amount of investment capital hasn't been disclosed.
Calvert, IDB to invest $20M in Latin American businesses. The Calvert Foundation has teamed up with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to boost funding for Latin American banks and financial institutions supporting small business and local development. The $20 million fund is being financed with $18 million in senior debt from the Calvert Foundation and $2 million in equity from the Inter-American Investment Corporation and Multilateral Investment Fund, both IDB Group members. Individuals can invest as well, with as little as $20, at Vested.org. The fund’s first borrower is Bayport Colombia, a Colombian financial institution serving public employees.
$30M Fund Targets Low-Income Healthcare. Vital Healthcare Capital has launched a $30 million loan fund to support organizations providing healthcare in disadvantaged areas in the U.S. Vital Healthcare is looking to lend to 10 to 20 organizations with the new fund, and is looking to raise an additional $70 million in the next five years. In June, it provided a $10 million loan to Commonwealth Care Alliance in Massachusetts, which cares for patients dually enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid.
The non-profit community development financial institution, or CDFI, was founded last year and is being supported by investors like the Ford Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, JP Morgan Chase Foundation, Metlife and Bank of America. In October, it also received a grant from Atlantic Philanthropies.
Trilinc Offers Trade Financing in South Africa and Guatemala. TriLinc Global Impact Fund has invested $9.7 million in four South Africa businesses and one Guatemalan business to support their trading activities. TriLinc provides short-term debt and trade finance to established small and medium-sized businesses in emerging markets (see “Trilinc: Opportunities for Retail Impact Investors”).
Four of the five loans carried interest rates of between 12 and 15 percent, including: $1.7 million, $587,000 and $440,000 to South African companies in electronics, textiles and industrial materials, and $1 million to a Guatemalan seed processor. TriLinc also extended $6.5 million at a lower rate to a South African agricultural supplies distributor as part of a new $10 million facility. Trilinc's total commitments now top $106 million worldwide.
FinTech Firm In Ghana Raises Seed Capital. A Ghanaian mobile money start-up has secured $200,000 in seed funding from and undisclosed investor to expand money transfer and banking services. Zeepay allows individuals to make retail payments, international remittances and domestic transfers via mobile phone. The company launched in September in 2014 and has plans to expand mobile payments to 100,000 farmers.
Community Health Fund Commits $100M. The Healthy Futures Fund (HFF) has fully committed its $100 million pilot fund, and completed a fresh $100 million capital raise. The fund invests in affordable housing and community healthcare in high-poverty parts of the U.S. Investments include financing a new community health center and grocery store in Brockton, Mass. and a health center in Omak, Wash., a rural area with a large migrant worker population. The fund was seeded by the Morgan Stanley, the Kresge Foundation and Local Initiatives Support Corporation.
Low-income housing REIT Pays Dividends. A real estate investment trust protecting affordable housing units in gentrifying and developing neighborhoods has made its first regular dividend payment to investors. Housing Partnership Equity Trust REIT I has paid more than $1.32 million in dividends to its investors since it was launched in 2013.
The REIT is a shareholder-based real estate investment fund that requires at least 90 percent of profits be paid out in dividends to investors. It wwas backed with $100 million from CitiBank, Morgan Stanley, Prudential, the MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation. So far, it has made investments in more than 30 cities, buying low and middle-income multifamily buildings to keep them affordable.
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image: Vital HealthCare Capital