Samunnati raises $4.5 million to extend small ag finance in India

Chennai-based agriculture finance company Samunnati raised $4.5 million from Accel Partners, Elevar Equity and others. The company provides credit, loans, and other financial products to small and micro-agribusinesses, which have difficulty accessing services from banks. Samunnati looks at “cash flow patterns, seasonality and the nature of collateral in [agriculture] supply chains” and other nontraditional risk indicators.

Network Effects: Impact Seed Funds in Africa and Latin America Share Secrets and Struggles

Early-stage investing in emerging markets is hard. A commitment to serve low-income customers makes it even more challenging. Scaling that up around the world? Next to impossible. Capria Network thinks it has cracked the code. With its latest $2 million in investments in early-stage impact funds in west Africa, South Africa, Colombia and Brazil, the

RedCarpet raises $2.5 million for student microlending in India

RedCarpet has raised $2.5 million for student microlending in India. Lightspeed Venture Partners, fresh off the successful IPO of their portfolio company Snap, led the round. RedCarpet, based in Gurgaon, India, works with microfinance lenders and non-traditional lenders to offer students who lack access to bank credit loans of between 5,000 and 8,000 rupees ($75 to $120),

Australia homelessness SIB beats $9 million funding deadline

Social Ventures Australia raised $9 million for a homelessness social impact bond just three weeks after its first investor pitch (The Brief, Feb. 16). Big backers include HESTA Super Fund, Future Super and the philanthropic arm of Coopers Brewery. It took Social Ventures Australia 17 months to tee up the project, which will house 600 of Adelaide’s

Solar lamps reduce energy poverty, but not poverty overall

2030 Solar lanterns are bringing electricity to some of the 1.2 billion people without reliable electric grids. But small-scale solar lamps have not made a big dent on poverty itself. A study of 1,000 rural households in Kenya found that the majority of households with solar lamps still use fuel-based energy sources as well, rather than replacing

IFMR seeks $82 million for financial inclusion funds

IFMR seeks $82 million for financial inclusion funds IFMR Investment Managers, based in Chennai, is looking to raise at least 550 crore rupees ($82 million) to drive financial services for India’s huge population of un- or underbanked citizens. Two debt funds, a 10-year, 200 crore rupees ($29 million) fund and a five-year, 350 crore rupees

Will electric taxis make China’s air cleaner — or dirtier?

Climate Finance Beijing is moving to phase out gas-powered taxis as part of an effort to tackle its crippling smog levels. Smog in the city is on the decline but it still worst among Chinese cities. To help clear the air, 70,000 gas taxis in the city will be replaced with electric vehicles as part of a