ImpactAlpha, September 21 – WaterEquity, a subsidiary of Matt Damon’s Water.org, announced it has reached a $33 million first close for its WaterCredit Investment Fund 3 (WCIF3) almost 18 months after it raised the first slug of capital from Bank of America.
The fund backs microfinance institutions and water and sanitation-based ventures like micro-utilities, toilet manufacturers, and water kiosks to improve access to clean water worldwide. Thirty percent of the world’s population lacks access to safe water and 60% lack adequate sanitation services, according to the World Health Organization.
The company’s first fund, which focused on lending to microfinance organizations, leveraged the $11 million raised to support improved access to safe water and sanitation for 320,000 people in India. It also returned 3.6% to investors annually.
The third fund is looking to reach 4.6 million people and return 3.5% to investors.
In addition to the $5 million in interest-free debt BofA committed last April, WCIF3 is backed by $20 million from OPIC, which was raised last September. The remainder has been committed by Ceniarth, Niagara Bottling, and the Conrad N. Hilton, Skoll, and Osprey Foundations.
WaterEquity expects to announce a second close later this year.