Water.org’s WaterEquity subsidiary is raising its third impact fund to invest in microfinance institutions that lend to households for in-home toilets and water connections. That’s a $12 billion market globally, according to a Gates Foundation report.
WaterEquity has secured $5 million in zero-interest debt from Bank of America for the planned $50 million WaterCredit Investment Fund 3 (WCIF3).
The $11 million WCIF1, raised in 2014, was fully disbursed as of November last year, enabling more than 21,000 microloans through seven microfinance institutions in India.
WaterEquity announced WCIF3 in 2015, but did not raise funds last year, according to Water.org’s 2016 financial audit. WCIF3 is offering investors a 3.5 percent return.
Water.org, founded by actor Matt Damon and entrepreneur Gary White (who were interviewed by NPR here), launched its WaterCredit initiative in 2005 and has partnered with 65 microfinance institutions in nine countries.