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Credit Suisse launches impact investing division

The Swiss bank, an early mover in supporting other impact investment firms, is opening its own impact investing division, called Impact Advisory and Finance. It will be headed by Marisa Drew, who has served as co-head of Europe, Middle East and Africa investment banking and capital markets for the bank. Leading the new division, Drew will report

Meet Purpose Capital’s new CEO, Upkar Arora

Purpose Capital has recruited Upkar Arora as its new CEO. Toronto-based Purpose Capital works with U.S. and Canadian investors to develop impact investing strategies. Arora founded advisory firm Illumina Partners in 2002 and has been active in social-finance investing in renewable energy and community and social-impact bonds. “The time was right to expand our capabilities and

Mesoamerica and Polymath partner to build Latin American impact startups

Polymath conceives and develops Latin America-based startups then brings on entrepreneurial teams to take them to scale. Private equity firm Mesoamerica has come on board with a $40 million investment fund to back Polymath Ventures’ Series A and B funding rounds. Since 2012, Polymath has launched seven companies, including Táximo, a taxi administration company; Aflore, a financial

Ford Foundation backs Detroit housing development

The Platform is a private developer that creates neighborhood-development plans focusing on market-rate and affordable housing in parts of the city outside of previous downtown revitalization efforts. New York-based Ford Foundation has committed $10 million to the effort — one of the early investments in a commitment of $1 billion from its endowment to social and community

WaterEquity gets $20 million from OPIC for third impact fund

The fund — a subsidiary of Matt Damon’s — supports microfinance institutions that provide credit to low-income households to install in-home toilets and water connections. WaterEquity’s WaterCredit Investment Fund 3 launched in April with $5 million in debt capital from Bank of America and a goal of raising $50 million. Water and sanitation for the global poor is a

Denmark launches fund to mobilize $5 billion for the Global Goals

The $1 billion SDG Investment Fund aims to attract $5 billion from private investors over the next four years to tackle the U.N.’s 2030 agenda in low- and middle-income countries. “I hope pension funds will join in, but we’re not there yet,” the Danish minister for Development Cooperation said in an interview (paywall). Still $5

Indonesian peer-to-peer microlender Amartha took first place in the Sankalp Awards

The company, which helps women entrepreneurs in rural villages access loans, will receive $20,000, networking, capacity building and mentorship opportunities. Runners up in the contest at the third annual Sankalp Southeast Asia Summit included EnerGaia, a Thai startup that harvests spirulina growers in underutilized urban areas and MyCash, a Malaysian enterprise that delivers simple online