Equator Capital Partners raises $62 million for African microfinance

The U.S.-based fund manager reached a first close towards its $150 million goal for its third ShoreCap fund. The fund is backed by development finance institutions, including U.K.-based CDC and the African Development Bank. Over the next 10 years, it will invest in 15 companies offering microcredit and insurance, housing finance, and small business banking. Equator’s first

Investors put $19.3 million in StartUp Health’s second fund

The New York-based company is providing early funding and a network for healthcare entrepreneurs tackling problems from women’s access to care to mental health and happiness. Its latest round is backed by Chinese financial-services firm Ping An Global Voyager Fund, U.S. healthcare company GuideWell, and Masimo Corporation. Other partners and investors include Steve Case, Mark

UBS introduces “gender equity” exchange traded fund

The Swiss bank is using consulting group Equileap’s index of the 100 companies considered most progressive on gender equality, based on 19 criteria. According to a report in Wealth Manager, the criteria include gender balance among company leaders, equal pay, and work-life balance. Lyxcor, QBE and Evolve also use Equileap’s index for gender-based financial products,

Straight talk on global development

Talal Abu-Ghazaleh is on a mission — bring private-sector metrics and standards to the U.N.’s Social Impact Finance (UNSIF), a fund founded in 2016 to coax capital towards the 2030 Agenda. He has a blunt message about the Sustainable Development Goals: Inside the U.N., the Goals are not treated with the gravity they deserve, and this puts them

Fresh Coast Capital raises $1.25 million for green municipal water management

Chicago-based Fresh Coast Capital raised the money from the Kresge Foundation to help fill the projected $105 billion funding gap between now and 2025 in U.S. water and wastewater infrastructure. The money is for green water-management projects like rain gardens and bioswales and came as a $500,000 grant and a $750,000 program-related investment. Fresh Coast

Digital solutions for the global goals

The use of smart sensors and artificial intelligence in infrastructure, industry and homes could cut carbon emissions by 12 gigatons by 2030 by enabling more efficient allocation of energy, water and other raw materials. By 2050, digitally intelligent autonomous vehicles are projected to cut fuel consumption from cars by nearly half. The market for wearable

Wonderschool raises $2.1 million to support early learning

New Schooled The startup works with 140 early-childhood programs in California and 16 in New York City PC: Wonderschool There aren’t nearly enough home childcare providers to serve the 21 million young children in the U.S., Omidyar Network writes. The impact investor is part of a group backing Wonderschool, which helps people start affordable, in-home preschools. The