This week: “Sapphire” invests first $10 million in LatAm financial services; Leapfrog’s assets leap over $1 billion with OPIC investment; and the Calvert Foundation backs Medical Credit Fund’s strategy for financing developing-world health clinics.
“Sapphire” Fund invests $10 million in LatAm financial inclusion. The new SFRE fund has made its first investments, committing just under $10 million in two Latin American financial institutions. Launched this year by the Global Alliance for Banking on Values and pronounced “Sapphire,” SFRE has raised $40 million in an open-ended fund. The two commitments were made to Banco Vision in Paraguay, focused on financial services for rural residents; and Costa Rica’s Financiera Desyfin, which lends to small businesses. SFRE is managed by MicroVest Capital Management.
OPIC’s $200 million investment in LeapFrog’s third fund. OPIC has pledged more than $200 million to LeapFrog Investments Emerging Consumer Fund III which follows the company’s thesis that services for low-income customers will drive growth in insurance, financial services and healthcare companies. It is the largest single investment in impact investing to date and will push LeapFrog’s commitments over the $1 billion mark, the firm says. The new fund will focus on investments of$10 to $50 million in South and Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. NextBillion reports the pledge is part of OPIC’s growing focus on impact equity, which comprised 9 percent of its total $4.4 billion in investments in 2015.
Calvert Foundation backs MCF with $3.4 million loan. Calvert Foundation has provided Medical Credit Fund with a $3.4 million loan, to help the lender offer bigger loans and expand to small hospitals and other healthcare business in sub-Saharan Africa. Non-profit Medical Credit Fund (MCF) was started by the PharmAccess Foundation to give first-time loans to small, private health facilities’ and draw local bank’s into the market. It has provided over $10 million in loans to 740 clinics.
National Philanthropic Trust adds impact option for donor-advised funds. The National Philanthropic Trust will allow account-holders to allocate up to 50 percent of their capital to “community notes,” a potential fundraising boon for partners Calvert Foundation, Enterprise Community Partners, Root Capital, and RSF Social Finance. Donor-advised funds, or DAFs, are IRAs for philanthropy, conferring an immediate tax deduction for future giving. A small number of financial services firms, including ImpactAssets, allow DAF account-holders to invest their principal in impact financial products and even individual ventures.
Lok Capital nears first close for third fund. India-based impact investor Lok Capital is looking for local investors after the first close for its new $80 million fund, expected in January. Co-founder Vishal Mehta hopes Indian investors will make up 10-15 percent of its next round’s commitments, as impact investing becomes more familiar. Lok’s first two funds focused on financial inclusion; Fund Three is geared towards small and medium-sized enterprises, small finance banks, agriculture and healthcare.
Omidyar and Nigerian investors back CcHub’s social innovation fund. Omidyar Network and local investors Bank of Industry and Venture Garden Group, are backing the Nigerian accelerator CcHub’s $5 million social innovation fund for companies expanding and improving tech infrastructure in Nigeria. CcHub also manages a $500,000 seed investment fund that makes equity commitments of up to $25,000.
Ag and IT ventures in Argentina and Brazil score TriLinc financing. The TriLinc Global Impact Fund has issued $17 million in new loan and trade financing to companies in South Africa, Kenya, Argentina and Brazil. The transactions included $5 million in trade financing for an Argentinian agriculture intermediary and $5.5 million in a secured five-year loan to a Brazilian IT company. TriLinc has made commitments of more than $125 million to small and mid-sized companies in Latin American and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Image: Calvert Foundation