Bill Gates Backs Cambridge Alumna’s $94M Health Fund
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Global technology pioneer Bill Gates is supporting a Cambridge University alumna in a blockbusting new health investment fund.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation agreed to back the venture, inspired in the UK by Gates scholar Julia Fan Li, after she made a personal presentation to Bill Gates’ father. The Global Health Investment Fund is structured by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the Foundation.
While the Foundation does not put in any direct dollars, it is sponsor of the fund and provides a first loss guarantee.
For the first time, individual and institutional investors can finance late-stage global health technologies that have the potential to save millions of lives in low-income countries.
The application of innovative finance principles applied to global health was researched and advocated by Gates Cambridge alumna Julia where she presented the findings to Bill Gates Senior about the possibility of setting up a social venture fund following an internal Gates Scholars symposium during her MPhil at the University of Cambridge.
With $94 million committed by a pioneering group of investors – including anchor support from Grand Challenges Canada (funded by the Government of Canada), the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (acting through KfW) and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation – the Global Health Investment Fund will help advance the most promising interventions to fight challenges in low-income countries such as malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and maternal and infant mortality.