Press release: WaterEquity announces the first closing of its US $50 million impact investment fund
WaterEquity, the first-ever impact investment manager with an exclusive focus on ending the global water crisis, announces the first close of its US $50 million flagship fund—WaterCredit Investment Fund 3 (WCIF3)—at US $33 million. Investors include Bank of America, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Ceniarth LLC, Niagara Bottling, as well as the Conrad N. Hilton, Skoll, and Osprey Foundations. A second-close is projected before year-end.
Tom Light, Managing Director of WaterEquity said, “We are inspired by the support we’ve received from both existing and new investors who share our belief that markets can deliver financial returns while solving global challenges.”
Investing in microfinance institutions, micro-utilities, toilet manufacturers, and water purification kiosks throughout India, Indonesia, Cambodia, and the Philippines, WCIF3 targets a 3.5% return and projects reaching 4.6 million people with safe water and/or sanitation over its seven-year term. With a blended capital structure, WCIF3 includes a $5 million first loss guarantee that covers both investment returns and principal.
“Niagara Cares is proud to be a contributing partner and foundational investor in WaterEquity. By supporting the sustainable growth of water and sanitation enterprises in emerging markets, we are accelerating an end to the global water crisis for hundreds of millions of women, children, and men.” Kristen C. Venick, Director of Niagara Cares.
WCIF3 builds on the success of WaterEquity’s inaugural investment fund— WaterCredit Investment Fund 1 (WCIF1)—which provides loan capital at slightly concessionary rates to high-performing microfinance institutions in India to scale their water and sanitation loan portfolios. To date, this US $11 million fund has enabled 320,000 people in India to gain access to safe water and/or sanitation and returned capital to owners with a higher-than-expected annual distribution payment of 3.6%. 99% of the individuals directly supported by WCIF1’s investments are women and 77% earn less than $4 a day.
“For investors seeking to align investments with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), WaterEquity’s funds drive positive impact toward the achievement of all SDGs, in particular the following six—end poverty; good health and well-being; gender equality; water and sanitation; economic growth; and climate change,” said Alix Lebec, Executive Vice President of Investor Relations for WaterEquity.
WaterEquity’s deep knowledge of water and sanitation investment opportunities in emerging markets guide values-based investment strategies that drive sustainable financial returns and social impact. By investing in a portfolio of enterprises in emerging markets, with a deep reach into communities living in poverty, WaterEquity’s investments help these enterprises scale, meet increasing market demand, and deliver universal access to safe water and sanitation.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.