2030 Finance | October 21, 2016

#Dealflow 10.20.16: Catalytic Capital for SunFunder, Ummeed, Kiva and Small Businesses in the U.S.

The team at


Catalytic capital is, well, catalyzing capital in this week’s #DealFlow. Off-grid solar in Africa. Mortgages for low-income home buyers in India. Financial services for small farmers. Incubators for small businesses in the U.S. (Just to show we know what we’re talking about, here’s a cite to Cathy Clark, Jed Emerson and Ben Thornley in Impact Investing 2.0, who say catalytic investments “trigger additional capital not otherwise available, to a fund, sector, enterprise or geography.”)


Off-grid. Solar finance company SunFunder has reached a $21 million first close for its $50 million Beyond The Grid Solar Fund. SunFunder invests in solar enterprises that extend off-grid and grid-supplementing solar products in Africa and Asia. It expects to immediately begin making debt-based investments, including inventory and working capital loans, receivables financing and project financing. Investors include OPIC, which committed $15 million to the fund, MCE Social Capital and the Rockefeller Foundation. San Francisco- and Tanzania-based SunFunder hopes the fund will help it drive hundreds of millions of new investment to the solar sector over the next few years.

Affordable mortgages. Delhi-based housing finance company Ummeed has secured a $3.5 million investment from Growth Catalyst Partners and Duane Park to offer mortgages to low- and informal-income earners in North and Central India. Ummeed was launched in January by former commercial and mortgage bankers from Citibank. The Series A financing will be used to build out Ummeed’s technology platform. This is the first investment by Growth Catalyst Partners — a fund advised by Lok Capital. Lok’s founder Vishal Mehta will join Ummeed’s board, along with Anurag Bhargava of Duane Park.

Microfinance for farmers. The MasterCard Foundation and Kiva have launched a five-year, $7.9 million partnership to pilot and expand financial services for small farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. The funding will be used to experiment with new, flexible micro-loan products for farmers built around productive, moveable assets and nontraditional forms of collateral, like livestock — lending which is often deemed too “high risk” from traditional banks and microfinance providers.

Small business financing. JPMorgan Chase is committing an additional $45 million to its Small Business Forward program, on top of the $30 million it committed two years ago. The program extends grants to expand the capacity of small business incubators and funds to expand flexible financing for small businesses. JPMorgan Chase reported that its earlier commitment supported 990 businesses and helped raise $139 million in revenue. The expanded program will focus on alternative funding sources for small businesses via grants to LiftFund and Association of Enterprise Opportunity; expanded entrepreneurial support networks, like University of Washington Foster School of Business’ Ascend 2020 initiative, to underserved communities; and capital and business support resources for women, minority and veteran entrepreneurs.

Data for good. Omidyar Network has re-upped its commitment to New York-based DataKind with a $2 million investment. DataKind is a non-profit focused on connecting data scientists to global causes; it has mobilized 12,000 data experts to donate their services to projects like crop disease prevention in Ethiopia. The organization will use Omidyar’s latest injection of capital to expand its service offering and test predictive analytic approaches.

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DealFlow is ImpactAlpha’s weekly roundup of what, where, how and why impact capital flowed each week… See more impact deals in ImpactAlpha’s DealFlow section. And send your deal news to [email protected].