Young Asians pursue impact investing that makes profit at home — Financial Times

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Give us today our daily energy — New Indian Express

HYDERABAD: Lighting up lives may sound like a good tagline for an energy company, but Freyr Energy, a Hyderabad-headquartered full-service solar provider firm, decided to make it their largest project. One of the first large projects that the energy company took up was to set up more than 50 solar microgrids for rural tribal habitations in Andhra Pradesh. Microgrids power the entire village with sufficient battery backup for three days.

According to Impact Investment Exchange’s (IIX) Social Return on Investment Report for Freyr Energy, for every US$1 raised, US$4.62 of impact is created by the organisation.

Power translates into:
5,000+ students have access to better quality education infrastructure
10,000+ tribals/villagers have access to electricity
17,000 people in Ghana have better healthcare infrastructure
2,000+ people have reliable access to drinking water supply Read More.

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India: Karma Primary Healthcare raises funds from 1Crowd, others — Deal Street Asia

Rajasthan-based healthcare provider Karma Primary Healthcare Services has raised an undisclosed amount of funding in a round led by early-stage investor and equity crowd-funding platform 1Crowd.

The round also saw participation from the company’s existing investors Ankur Capital, Beyond Capital Fund and Ennovent.

The company also received support from organisations such as the Tata Trusts, UBS Optimus Foundation and WISH Foundation, according to a statement by Impact Investment Exchange (IIX), which facilitated the investment. Read More.

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Inclusive growth in focus at Davos, a new fund for African tech, private finance and the Global Goals — Impact Alpha

ERC Eye Care secures $1 million for affordable care. ERC offers affordable eye care to low-income patients in Northeast India through hospitals in Assam. India faces a shortage of eyecare specialists, making access to care difficult, particularly for rural and low-income patients. ERC has two clinics in Assam where patients can see specialists and get glasses for less than $1 and cataract surgery for less than $20. (Half of the world’s cases of blindness are caused by untreated cataracts.) The $1 million ERC has raised will be used to build two new clinics and extend care into villages through mobile health vans. Ankur Capital and Ennovent led the round with funding from several other investors arranged by Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) Read More.

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Asia’s ‘impact investors’ favor social investment over charity — Nikkei

SINGAPORE — In 2016, veteran Japanese investment banker and private equity investor Takeshi Kato embarked on a new chapter of his life. Deeply moved by the poverty and social issues he saw while working in India, Kato began investing in social enterprises through BWiz Capital, a small Tokyo-based investment company he set up with some financial help from friends.

The company’s portfolio ranges from OneBreath, a U.S.-based startup that provides affordable medical ventilators to hospitals in India, to Indonesia-based Krakakoa, which helps cocoa farmers seeking to produce beans for artisanal chocolate. Read More.

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Kinara Capital raises $14.5 mn in Series C funding — Business Standard

Kinara Capital, which lends to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) without collateral, has raised $14.5 million in from multiple investors including existing ones, and Patamar Capital, and new investors and 

This round has also provided exits to Ltd and investors of IIX’s Impact Partners platform. The fresh round of funding will be deployed to expand the product portfolio in existing and new geographies in India and increase investment in technology to improve efficiency in field operations. Read More.

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SolarHome Attracts First Debt Funding with the Support of IIX — Markets Insider

SolarHome, the pioneer in Pay-As-You-Go (“PAYG”) Solar for off-grid households in Southeast Asia, secured its first debt funding. The new financing comes on the heels of the pre-Series A equity funding round that the company recently closed. Impact Investment Exchange (IIX), a global leader in impact investing, played a pivotal role in the securing of this financing by providing the company with impact assessment and technical assistance services as well as connecting SolarHome with its debt-provider Kiva, an online lending platform connecting lenders to entrepreneurs. This support was provided as part of the award-winning IIX Acceleration for Capacity-building and Technical Services (IIX ACTS) program in partnership with USAID. Read More.

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How the World’s First Social Sustainability Bond is Connecting Back Streets to Wall Street — Next Billion

Impact investing is more than an emerging asset class. In a world where business models and financial equations often perpetuate inequality, impact investing is an opportunity for systemic change. If approached pragmatically and innovatively, it can transform our traditional financial system into one that offers economic opportunity to even the most remote and underserved populations. As impact investing gains traction and becomes one of the most rapidly-growing fields of investment, it is crucial to harness its power to promote equity and inclusion in financial markets. Read More.

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IIX, PTI Australia ink impact investing agreement for women-focused enterprises — Deal Street Asia

Impact Investment Exchange (IIX), and Pacific Trade Invest Australia (PTI Australia) signed a letter of engagement to catalyze growth of the impact investing market across the Pacific Islands targeting mostly women-focused enterprises. PTI Australia is Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)-funded Pacific Island agency that creates jobs in the Pacific Islands by facilitating trade and attracting impact investment into the region. IIX noted it will begin to effectively build the market for impact investing beginning in aquaculture and agriculture sectors with plans to expand the ecosystem deeply across 16 pacific island countries and the surrounding oceans. Read More.

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USAID allocates aid for Asean women — Manila Standard

The United States Agency for International Development is set to allocate $8-million Livelihood Bond for estimated 385,000 women in Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines, Cambodia and Vietnam.

In a statement on Thursday, the US Embassy in Manila said that the bond, which was structured by the Singapore-based Impact Investment Exchange is expected to be listed on the Singaporean Exchange this month and will be the first social sustainability bond with a dual focus on social and financial returns, to be listed on a major stock exchange. “USAID is pleased to support the Women’s Livelihood Bond with this loan guarantee,” USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia in Bangkok deputy mission director Todd Sorenson said. “The bond will benefit women living in Association of Southeast Asian Nations states, particularly Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.” Read More.

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