Beneficial Return finances Ecofiltro’s ceramic water filters for Guatemala



ImpactAlpha, August 25 – Guatemala-based Ecofiltro makes low-cost ceramic filters to purify drinking water. The company aims to bring clean drinking water to one million of Guatemala’s nearly seven million rural citizens by 2020.

Beneficial Returns, which makes growth-stage debt investments, is supporting Ecofiltro with a $225,000, seven-year loan to finance new production equipment. As part of Beneficial Returns’ model, the investor will forgive Ecofiltro’s last payment if the venture reaches 1,000,000 in cumulative filter sales by loan’s maturity date.

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Ecofiltro was founded more than 25 years ago as a non-profit, but switched to a for-profit model in 2009. It has since developed business lines to market its filters to urban and rural households, schools and community centers, and to NGOs and private businesses. Its household filters sell at two price points: a $40 plastic-encased and ceramic filter and a $200 “aspirational” all-ceramic model that is hand-crafted and painted.

Ecofiltro launched its own production facility in 2012, capable of making 8,000 filters per month. The company sold 70,000 filters in 2017 and projects 50% growth in sales for 2018, founder Philip Wilson told ImpactAlpha.

Ecofiltro is Beneficial Returns’ fourth investment. Prior investments include Interrupcion Fair Trade, Iluméxico, and Sistema Biobolsa

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