Women Rising in India: Searching for Solutions in the Land of My Birth

In college, my birth country of India was always the subject of politics and development classes, because it ranked low on nearly every development index — for education, health, women’s rights, corruption and on and on.   Ten years later, I’m going back to India. I’ve grown weary of articles from India on sexual violence,

Letter from India: How Poop is Becoming Big Business for Small Companies

I was in Mumbai, making a long commute across town after a week full of events and conferences. When we arrived in South Bombay, my taxi driver slowed down to point out a nearby slum, dangerously perched on one of the slopes of Malabar Hills—Mumbai’s most upscale and expensive property. I could see a few

The Five-Minute Loan: How India Stack is Speeding Loans to Small Businesses

We recently met Ajay, a fruit vendor in Mumbai who struggles to pay the 60 percent annual interest rate on a loan from his local money lender. Ajay was saddled with this debt, unable to refinance or raise more capital to buy a second fruit cart. Last month, that changed. Using just his mobile phone,

#Dealflow 10.5.16: SIBs, DIBs and HIBs for Connecticut Addicts, Mideast Youths and Conflict Refugees

Proponents of pay-for-success financing structures are laying the groundwork to pioneer the tool in as-yet untested social issues, like drug addiction recovery and the refugee crisis. Social impact bonds (SIBs) have now been joined by development impact bonds (DIBs) and even humanitarian impact bonds (HIBs). Commercial investors, such as French bank BNP Paribas, are starting to

#Dealflow 8.17.16: Mosaic’s big raise, a ‘smart city’ in Virginia and new financing for PowerPlant, Zoona, Galvanize and Scripbox

The big #Dealflow news of the month is the $220 million in equity financing raised by California-based solar financing company Mosaic. The financing, led by Warburg Pincus and supported by Core Innovation Capital and Obvious Ventures, “provides an open runway for growth,” said Billy Parish, Mosaic’s founder and CEO. Mosaic provides financing for residential rooftop solar installations

#Dealflow 8.3.16: Global Partnerships Absorbs Eleos, Bain Launches Fund, Gates Backs Biotech, Rockefeller Bros. Go Renewable

Few investors back early-stage startups targeting poor customers in emerging markets. Fewer still make money on such investments. To address this “pioneer gap,” Global Partnerships and Eleos Foundation announced the launch of a new $5 million Social Venture Fund that aims to impact the lives of 5 million people in East Africa – and earn a modest return. With $2.7

#Dealflow 7.21.16: WeFarm Raises; WaterCapital Grows; Aavishkaar Exits, and more

Here’s a minor #Dealflow scoop: UK-based WeFarm is close to closing a $2 million fundraising round, led by an unnamed commercial venture capital fund. The mobile network is a knowledge sharing platform for remote smallholder farmers, coordinating and vetting SMS-based questions and answers. To date, over 70,000 farmers in Kenya, Uganda and Peru have signed up and