Dealflow | October 22, 2019

Catalytic capital juices Global Partnerships impact-first fund

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, October 22 – Global Partnerships is raising a fund to support products and services that commercial markets ignore, due to lower profitability. To get private investors to back the Impact-First Development Fund, family office Ceniarth and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation committed $4 million in first-loss capital.

Ceniarth and Kellogg’s investment helped Global Partnerships secure an additional $50 million from U.S. development finance institution OPIC, getting the fund to a $55 million first close.

“Creating opportunities for deeply underserved communities requires impact investment strategies that genuinely prioritize impact even when this means accepting more modest investor returns,” said Ceniarth’s Diane Isenberg in a statement.

Global Partnerships is looking to raise up to $70 million to invest in social enterprises tackling poverty through education, livelihoods, energy, water and healthcare access, sanitation, and housing. OPIC announced its intention to back the fund last year.

The Seattle-based investor has previously backed ventures like Amped Innovation, which designs off-grid solar products for productive use; Tugende, which supports asset ownership for motorcycle taxi drivers; and Eneza Education, which makes mobile-accessible learning content.