The Brief | October 10, 2018

Global Health Investment Fund, in-home health care, too important to fail

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Featured: ImpactAlpha Original

After a dozen deals, Global Health Investment Fund has overcome a rocky start. The Global Health Investment Fund is nearly fully invested after leading a $10 million round of financing for Alydia Health, a Menlo Park, Calif., company with a low-cost device to treat postpartum hemorrhage. It is the 12th investment for the $108 million fund, launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and JPMorgan Chase, which nearly didn’t get off the ground. Now, the fund’s portfolio of a dozen novel health approaches includes a rapid diagnostic test for HIV, malaria, Ebola and other diseases; a powerless cataract surgery device; a cholera vaccine; and snakebite anti-venom.

The Global Health Investment Fund was one of the first to leverage “priority review vouchers” to offset drug development costs. Developers of drugs for eligible tropical and neglected disease can get expedited regulatory review and a transferable voucher for expedited review of another drug. Such vouchers have been sold for up to $350 million. “Big pharmaceutical companies will pay a lot of money to get their blockbuster drug reviewed quickly,” said GHIF’s Curtis LaBelle.

The investment in Alydia Health reflects the fund’s original intent. The device was originally developed to reduce maternal mortality in developing countries, before the company changed its strategy (and its name) to focus on the U.S. market. The new investment will help Alydia work towards regulatory clearance – and also help make the medical device accessible and affordable in low-income countries after all. “This isn’t just money you can take and go on your merry way,” LaBelle says. “It comes with obligations.”

Keep reading, “After a dozen deals, Global Health Investment Fund has overcome a rocky start,” by Jessica Pothering on ImpactAlpha.

Dealflow: Follow the Money

Bain Double Impact doubles down on in-home healthcare. Bain Capital’s impact fund has invested an undisclosed amount to acquire two companies working in the in-home health sector. It plans to merge North Carolina-based care staffing company Arosa and Los Angeles-based care provider LivHome. An aging population and seniors’ desire to age at home is driving growth in home healthcare in the U.S. Bain Double Impact says it will boost customer service and offer better benefits and educational programs for workers. Continue reading.

Aavishkaar backs Indian logistics tech firm GoBolt. Mumbai-based GoBolt makes software for India’s growing on-demand logistics sector. The company runs its own delivery fleet, and also contracts with other small fleet owners. Aavishkaar made a $5.5 million investment in GoBolt from its Aavishkaar Bharat Fund, citing the company’s potential impact on livelihoods, including its ability to “integrate and up-skill small fleet operators” and ensure that drivers could work more regular hours. Read on.

Signals: Impact Voices

Too Important to Fail: Overcoming barriers to institutional impact investing. It’s the fall conference season and everybody, it seems, has a multi-point plan to fix impact investing. The entrance of legacy (aka mainstream) investment firms into impact investing has spurred a raft of proposals to combat “impact-washing” (see this and this and this). There’s also a boomlet in inquiries and frameworks for bringing even more such capital to impact investing. Last month, Rockefeller Foundation’s Lorenzo Bernasconi and Carolien de Bruin and Josephine Damstra of C-Change, an Amsterdam-based impact strategy consultancy, issued a call for “a step-change in the number and scale of ‘fit-for- purpose’ investment products” aligned with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.

Now comes Marc Diaz, who most recently headed The Nature Conservancy’s NatureVest impact investing platform, and Imogen Rose-Smith, an investment fellow with the University of California and a regular on ImpactAlpha’s Returns on Investment podcast. “There is a serious danger that the impact investing industry’s momentum will be lost and this moment will pass,” they write in a guest post on ImpactAlpha. “To overcome this slow-growth dynamic, institutional investors need access to intermediary capacity to source, structure, and asset manage impact investments on competitive terms to existing investments.” Among the challenges are returns, costs, track record, growth capital and expectations. “Impact investing suffers from unrealistic return expectations,” the authors say. “Either the bar is too high—impact must outperform. Or the bar is too low—impact is expected to sacrifice returns for outcomes.” Have a read and have your say.

Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent

The new Georgia Social Impact Map is a searchable tool to connect capital to scalable solutions to the state’s social challenges…Cutting Edge Capital attorneys Kim Arnone and Brian Beckon are hosting a webinar Thursday to help “drive local revitalization in a way that benefits the community itself rather than outside investors,” including in new Opportunity Zones… RSF Social Finance is recruiting a chief financial officer in San Francisco… Social Finance is looking for a managing director of social investment in Boston.

October 10, 2018.