capria | June 30, 2016

#Dealflow 6.30.16: Capria Launches $100 Million Fund, Raises by UnCommon Cacao, Impact Engine and More

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Regular readers of ImpactAlpha know we’ve been following (here and here) the development of Capria, an impact investing fund with a novel strategy — incubating and investing in first-time impact fund managers who can then leverage Capria’s investment to raise additional funds and seed dozens if not hundreds of impact enterprises around the world.

It turns out President Obama may have been following along as well, giving a shoutout in his speech at last week’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Stanford to “…investment funds like Capria Ventures which will help [new local managers] fund international startups…”

Capria launched a $100 million impact fund, the Capria Emerging Managers Fund, to invest in other debt and equity funds that aim to accelerate social enterprises in Africa, Latin America and Asia beyond the seed stage. Capria expects to make 15 investments through the fund over the next five years.

Meanwhile, Capria Accelerator, which provides start-up capital and technical assistance to emerging fund managers, has partnered with Alithelia Identity, a fund manager focused on women-owned businesses in Africa, and idacapital, which invests in tech-based impact ventures in Turkey.

Supply chains. Uncommon Cacao has closed a $1.6 million Series A round led by Pi Investments and Acumen, while converting a $200,000 loan from the Eleos Foundation into equity. The venture focuses on building a sustainable supply-chain for high quality chocolate originating from Central America. Uncommon Cacao’s export operation Maya Mountain Cacao secured the original loan from Eleos in 2013. It was the first example of a so-called “demand dividend” investment, which are designed to give young companies flexible repayment options to account for fluctuating revenues and cash flow. Listen to ImpactAlpha’s Returns on Investment podcast: Uncommon Cacao: How Emily Stone is Doubling Farmer Incomes by Going Beyond Fair Trade Chocolate.

European funds. Rabobank in the Netherlands has secured an additional €100 million ($111 milion) in funding from the European Investment Bank to issue impact loans, after investing the EIB’s first €50 million commitment. Rabobank — a co-operative bank — disbursed the original €50 million as low-interest loans to 47 small and mid-size companies that prioritize corporate social responsibility and have “quality marks” certifications — from Rainforest Alliance, for example.

Tech for Good. Chicago-based Impact Engine has raised a $10 million fund to invest in early-stage technology companies focused on education, health, economic empowerment and resource efficiency. The fund is targeting investments of $25,000 to $250,000 in 25 companies over the next two years and has already made six commitments. Impact Engine received backing from a number of prominent impact investors and venture capitalists including Irene Pritzker of IDP Foundation, Shradha Agarwal of Jumpstart Ventures, Matt McCall of Pritzker Group and Kevin Willer of Chicago Ventures.

Venture philanthropy. The Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation is launching a $65 million “venture philanthropy” fund to support up to 100 early-stage social enterprises. The funding will be issued as three-year grants aimed at helping start-ups overcome early business challenges. The DRK Foundation has previously supported ventures and organizations like Kiva and One Acre Fund.

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