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Jeff Skoll’s Capricorn Investment Takes Stake in Encourage Capital

Capricorn Investment Group, which manages the fortune of billionaire Jeff Skoll, has taken a stake in Encourage Capital, an impact investment firm that has developed innovative structures for restoring wild fisheries, managing stormwater and promoting financial inclusion. Capricorn’s investment is not in any of those specific initiatives but in Encourage, the overall asset-management firm, itself.

ImpactAlpha’s Newsletter: Big Cool Ideas

There are only a handful of ways for investors to find genuine “alpha.” Breakthrough innovation. Mispriced assets. Superior financial architecture. And, of course, significant social and environmental benefits. Impact investing works all those angles, which is why this “niche” is increasingly interesting to mainstream investors looking for edge. As Todd Morley, co-founder of i(x) Investments,

Kiva Founder Turns Marc Andreessen’s Head Toward Africa

The new new thing in Silicon Valley? Global development. The latest data point: Venture capital powerhouse Andreessen-Horowitz’s investment in Branch, its first in a U.S.-based company targeting the Africa market. Branch has closed a $9.2 million series A round that also includes earlier investors Formation 8 and the Khosla Impact Fund. Andreessen-Horowitz is betting on Matt

ImpactAlpha’s #DealFlow 4.6.16: Recycling in Chicago, Stormwater in DC, SIBs in Africa

Dealflow is catching up from spring break with a full helping of impact investments in the U.S. and around the world. Harvesting recyclables in Chicago. The Closed Loop Fund is investing $1.5 million (of $6.5 million total) in the Lakeshore Recycling Services facility to that demonstrate recycling can be profitable even when commodity prices are low.

Capria Accelerator Backs First-Time Impact Fund Managers in Uganda, Guatemala and Zimbabwe

The amounts are small, but the leverage could be huge. The Capria Accelerator Fund announced the first three impact fund managers in which it has invested both capital and know-how. Managers of the three funds, from Uganda, Guatemala and Zimbabwe, last week completed a four-week intensive bootcamp in Capria’s hometown of Seattle. They each will

Using Cell Phone Data to Establish Credit Scores in Latin America

First-time borrowers face a classic chicken or the egg dilemma: a borrower needs a good credit score to get a loan but needs a track record of repaying loans to establish a good credit score. Increasingly though, another, more ubiquitous measure of creditworthiness is all consumers will need: their cell phone data. In Latin America, for

ImpactAlpha’s #DealFlow 3.21.2016: Investments in Education and Financial Services for Low-Income Indians

This week in impact investing news: India is again a hotbed of impact investment activity, with new debt and equity capital targeted at education and financial services for low-income populations. Israel appears to be fertile ground for social impact bonds, with the latest effort aimed at diabetes prevention. And the Canadian impact investment hub MaRS