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 Bowden. The new fund is a partnership between Toronto-based SVX and VERGE Capital, the social-finance arm of Pillar Nonprofit Network.
The $1.7 million was committed by Libro Credit Union, London Community Foundation and two religious organizations. Ontario’s Ministry for Economic Development and Growth contributed $375,000 as first-loss capital.