Rob Katz

Breaking News: NextBillion Ally Receives $30m Investment

I just received an e-mail from NextBillion ally and BOP enthusiast Michael Hokenson.? Michael is the Managing Director of Minlam Asset Management, a NY-based microfinance hedge fund:

Minlam Asset Management LLC is a New York-based investment firm providing financial solutions for emerging markets. Minlam creates financial products to address the increasing number of commercial opportunities in microfinance. Microfinance is the provision of diverse financial services to low-income entrepreneurs. Microfinance investments have a successful track record and represent an attractive investment opportunity with compelling social benefits for the four billion people that constitute the Base of the Economic Pyramid (“BOP”).

Michael and I spoke at length during last month’s Business With Four Billion conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan (he’s a graduate of the Erb Institute, in a related note.)? During our conversations, it became clear that there’s a real need for innovative financing mechanisms to support the replication and scale of microfinance services worldwide.

In that light, the Financial Times reports today that Minlam has finalized a $30 million investment from the CDC Group, a UK government-owned emerging markets investor.? Simply put, this allows Minlam to offer debt financing to microfinance institutions – something that has been very rare in this sector.Kudos to the CDC Group, and congratulations to Michael and the entire Minlam team.