ImpactAlpha, November 2 — Luxembourg-based emerging and frontier markets investor Bamboo Capital Partners is exiting its investment in Banco Popular a decade after it invested in the microlender via its first Financial Inclusion Fund.
Banco Popular’s has nearly doubled its base of borrowers — and its base of depositors grew sixfold — since Bamboo invested. Banco Popular grew its credit portfolio from $40 million to $144 million and expanded its microlending, microinsurance and other financial services to Honduras’ rural areas. The microfinance institution today manages over $170 million and serves more than 180,000 customers.
“This is a successful and responsible exit,” said Bamboo’s Jean-Phillippe de Schrevel. Bamboo’s exit follows a string of others in the microfinance and financial inclusion sectors over the past two years. Bamboo exited its investment in Kenya’s Kopo Kopo, a fintech company providing digital microloans and microinsurance to small and medium enterprises in Africa, earlier this year; and last year, CONFIE, a Latin American microfinance institution.
Bamboo says its microfinance and fintech portfolio companies have provided financial inclusion to 87 million people worldwide.
In with the new
A pair of emerging markets-focused impact investors, Belgium’s Incofin Investment Management and Amsterdam-based Triple Jump, will join Banco Popular as new shareholders. “We look forward to working with our co-shareholders and bank management to build on Banco Popular’s long term track record of providing impactful financial services to Honduran entrepreneurs,” said Triple Jump’s Jarri Jung.
Incofin and Triple Jump will take over 65% of Banco Popular shares from Bamboo and other early investors — global development banks IFC and Honduras’ Central American Bank for Economic Integration. Other existing shareholders, such as FMO and BIO, will increase their positions in Banco Popular.