FePhoto credit: Hand in Hand International via Visual hunt / CC BY

Capria Launches USD 100 Million Fund to Invest in Emerging Economy Impact Funds

Capria announced at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit on 23rd June 2016, the launch of Capria Emerging Managers Fund: a USD 100 million fund that will invest in equity and debt funds targeting early-stage impact businesses across Africa, Latin America, and Asia. In the next 5 years, the fund plans to invest in at least 15 impact funds, significantly expanding Capria Network’s global reach. By 2025, Capria’s efforts are expected to unlock over USD 500 million in local and global capital to invest in businesses that will cumulatively serve more than 5 million low-income people across diverse emerging economies.

Capria also announced that it has partnered with two additional impact fund managers: Alitheia Identity, investing in women-led businesses across Africa, and idacapital, investing in technology & innovation in Turkey.

Additionally, International Finance Corporation, a division of the World Bank; Ceniarth, a family office based in London; and Sorenson Impact Foundation, a leading global impact investor joined Bill Gates and others as financial supporters of Capria Accelerator.

Shrinking the missing middle financing gap, globally

According to J.P. Morgan and Global Impact Investing Network’s 6th Annual Impact Investor Survey, impact investors manage over USD 60 billion of global capital which is expected to reach USD 1 trillion by 2020. However, there is an alarming financing gap with respect to investing in early-stage companies — less than 10 per cent of impact investors are focused on early-stage investments. The Capria Emerging Managers Fund will address this critical “missing middle” by expanding investment focus from micro businesses (served by microfinance) to the SMEs (small and medium enterprises), enabling local companies to scale up providing more jobs, improved livelihoods, and better access to affordable products and services.

“Capria’s goal is to empower the next generation of fund managers in emerging economies by leveraging nearly two decades of Unitus’ institutional knowledge, data and networks in successfully generating market returns while creating impact”, said Will Poole, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Capria. “The Capria Emerging Managers Fund will invest in the best teams emerging from our pioneering Capria Accelerator program.”

Capria Accelerator partners with additional fund managers from Africa and Turkey

Capria Accelerator, which was launched in September 2015, partners with the best early-stage equity and debt fund managers, provides initial investment capital, and engages in significant hands-on support to help these managers launch and operate their new investment funds. Additionally, the fund managers benefit from the ever-increasing resources of the Capria Network, a fast-growing global network of exceptional local managers and global investors. Capria announced its initial fund manager partnerships in April 2016: three impact fund management teams from Zimbabwe, Uganda and Guatemala. 90 fund managers across 45 countries have applied to participate in the second cohort planned for Q3 2016. Additionally, Capria has partnered with two additional fund managers: Alitheia Identity is investing in women-led businesses across Africa, and idacapital is investing across technology-enabled impact business verticals in finance, education, life sciences, cleantech and agriculture in Turkey.

Alitheia invests in women entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa

“Together with the African Development Bank’s commitment of USD 12.5 million in Alitheia Identity’s fund, partnering with Capria to access their extensive network and resources will enable me and my colleagues, Polo Leteka and ‘Tokunboh Ishmael to finance and support growth businesses, particularly those led by women and gender-diverse teams,” said Anne-Marie Chidzero, Managing Partner at Alitheia Identity. “We’re focused in West and Southern Africa, helping businesses scale regionally and reach international markets. As experienced fund managers we see tremendous opportunity in serving Africa’s ‘missing middle’ to generate social and economic impact and deliver good financial returns.”

idacapital invests in innovative startups in Turkey

“We believe social and environmental impact can be created through indigenous technologies and innovations in emerging economies. We value our partnership with Capria not only for their direct and multiplying investments effect but also for enabling us to collaborate with a network of fund managers in markets which will have the highest growth of the world in next 15 years”, said Cem Baytok, Managing Partner at idacapital.

New supporters include Ceniarth, Sorenson Impact Foundation, and International Finance Corporation

New financial supporters of Capria Accelerator were also announced today and include Ceniarth, Jim Sorenson, Founder of Sorenson Impact Foundation, and International Finance Corporation (a division of the World Bank). Since Capria’s inception, Bill Gates (in a personal capacity), Unitus Labs, Crystal Springs Foundation, Lemelson Foundation, Mohandas Pai and others have backed this ground-breaking initiative to unlock capital for the global “missing middle.”

“We invested in Capria Accelerator because we want to see more local fund managers in Africa who can professionally invest capital in domestic, early-stage high growth impact businesses in agriculture, energy and financial services”, said Diane Isenberg, Director of Ceniarth, a family office based in London. “We are also excited about Capria’s goal of supporting a diverse set of executives, including female fund managers and entrepreneurs, who are so often overlooked by investors.”

“The International Finance Corporation has been focused on impactful economic development in emerging economies for decades,” said Atul Mehta, Global Director of Private Equity for IFC, part of the World Bank. “There is a dearth of managers serving the small and medium enterprises that are engines of growth in these economies. We’re glad to see Capria focused on building capacity with the best new fund managers through their Accelerator, and now also establishing a facility to make substantial investments in the funds they help create, addressing the global ‘missing middle’.”

About Capria Emerging Manager Fund

Capria Emerging Managers Fund is a USD 100 million fund that will invest in emerging market equity and debt funds that target market-rate returns, and are headquartered in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The fund expects to invest in at least 15 impact funds providing early-stage risk capital to small and fast growing businesses in sectors including education, healthcare, agriculture, technology, housing and more. The fund will invest in funds led by the best managers engaged through Capria Accelerator, as well as in other leading impact funds. Capria Emerging Managers Fund is managed by Capria Ventures LLC and is based in Seattle. More at http://capria.vc/invest.

About Capria Accelerator

Capria Accelerator is the first global business accelerator for impact fund managers. Capria invests in, supports and helps capitalize new fund managers backing early-stage startups primarily in markets including Africa, Asia and Latin America. Capria Accelerator was founded in 2015 by the co-founders of Unitus Seed Fund, the leading impact venture seed fund in India. Capria Accelerator is backed by Unitus, a pioneer in incubating financial services firms that address global problems with innovative, market-driven solutions. Capria Accelerator is managed by Capria Ventures LLC and is based in Seattle. More at http://capria.vc.

Originally published at capria.vc on June 23, 2016.