Bridges takes majority stake in healthy school-meal provider Innovate Services

Bridges Fund Management has taken a majority stake in healthy school-meal provider Innovate Services. Innovate caters healthy meals to 90,000 primary and secondary school students in 120 schools across England. Bridges, a London-based impact investor, says the school-meals sector can improve education and health outcomes; studies tie nutritious meals to positive behavior and school performance. “Promoting

Cephus raises $51 million for high-growth Ethiopian businesses

The new private-equity fund will back small and growing Ethiopian businesses with a focus on manufacturing, agro-processing and services. Growth-stage companies have the potential to create millions of jobs in Ethiopia, Africa’s second-largest country by population, according to the World Bank. The Cephus fund is not impact-focused, but it aims to address the funding gap for

Aye Finance raises $3.8 million to ramp up lending to underbanked businesses in India

Inclusive Economy Aye Finance operates 72 lending branches in 10 Indian states The team at AYE Capital | PC: YourStory The company, based in Gurugram, India, uses alternative metrics, including non-financial ones, to assess creditworthiness for businesses that are overlooked or rejected by mainstream lenders. Aye Finance operates 72 lending branches in 10 Indian states and

Impact investor group launches vegetarian-meat company for Chinese market

A quarter of the world’s meat is consumed in China, including half of all pork, and meat consumption and production are both rising. Dao Foods International — a new collaboration between Dao Ventures, Moonspire Social Ventures and New Crop Capital — aims to “accelerate [China’s] shift toward plant-based and clean meat and capitalize on the investor interest in these better

VERGE Breakthrough Fund raises $1.7 million for Ontario startups

VERGE Breakthrough Fund has raised $1.7 million for Ontario startups. The seven-year fund is looking to raise $2 million in total to provide loans to social enterprises and affordable housing initiatives. It aims to achieve a 3% return. “This is a demonstration fund. It’s meant to see if this concept has legs,” says VERGE founder Lina

Apollo Hospitals launches health tech seed fund

Apollo Hospitals, a private Indian hospital chain, is investing $5 million in a seed fund for health and medical tech startups. The company will serve as an accelerator for the startups and plans to contribute $5 million more in capital, with the goal of raising $50 million to $100 million in total. Health tech is one

MyVyllage raises $1.2 million for early childhood care and education

MyVyllage has developed a curriculum and trains educators to run early care centers out of their homes, then monitors all of the centers in its network. MyVyllage’s seed round was led by Better Ventures with backing from Acumen America, Gary Investments and several angel investors. In January, Wonderschool raised $2.1 million from Omidyar Network and others