08 January 2014– Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX) announced today that its Impact Partners platform has successfully facilitated an investment into Frontier Markets, a social enterprise based in Jaipur, India.
Frontier Markets (FM) is a last-mile sales and distribution company that offers clean energy products and superior after-sales service to low-income, base of the pyramid (BOP) households in rural India. FM targets consumers who have limited access to electricity, who reside in rural and semi-urban settings, and who are considered low-income. These consumers are often farmers or laborers, and many of them are microfinance clients.
To reach these customers, FM builds service centers, partners with local channels to gain in-depth access to target households, and creates village-level branded franchises that sell clean energy products with ongoing customer service to BOP families. FM differentiates itself by providing after-sales servicing and by maintaining an ongoing relationship with customers to develop trust within the community. FM’s founder, Ajaita Shah, was recently named one of Forbes Magazine’s “Top 30 Under 30” Social Entrepreneurs.
The capital raised by Frontier Markets is in the form of compulsorily convertible debentures. This capital will enable FM to impact over 100,000 families by providing them with safe, clean and economic energy products, allowing them to save up to US$100 annually on energy costs.
IIX was introduced to Frontier Markets through the Asian Development Bank’s Energy for All initiative, which has provided Frontier Markets with a platform to raise the company’s profile and also introduced them to potential partners and investors across the region.
FM had already secured a lead investor, Beyond Capital Fund, and was seeking co-investors to participate in the investment round. IIX showcased the deal to its universe of impact investors and secured an investment through its Impact Partners platform from Singapore-based Antara Ventures. IIX then helped to coordinate the bridge investment round which also included Rianta Capital Zurich / Artha Initiative, so that all investors could come into the round on the same terms.
“We are extremely grateful for IIX’s support and their assistance in closing the investment round. We are excited about having these new investors as part of our investor group. We are confident they will provide valuable insights and guidance to help Frontier Markets reach its targets and prepare to scale.” – Ajaita Shah, Founder, Frontier Markets
“IIX’s extensive knowledge of impact investing proved to be very valuable as we progressed through the investment process. We see our investment in FM as the start of an ongoing cooperation with IIX and the first in a series of investments in this exciting space.” – Rolf Harrison, Managing Director, Antara Ventures Ltd
“We are delighted to have been able to help Frontier Markets raise this latest round of investment capital. We are particularly pleased that all three investors joining this round are members of the Impact Partners network. We are also happy to be able to close another transaction in the clean energy access sector as part of our relationship with the Energy for All Partnership. We look forward to continue supporting Ajaita and the FM team as they scale their impact in underserved regions of India.” – Robert Kraybill, Managing Director, IIX
Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX) is a Singapore-based organization with a mission to provide Social Enterprises (SEs) in Asia greater access to investment capital, allowing them to more rapidly expand the impact of their activities.
IIX offers three investment platforms – Impact Incubator™, Impact Partners™ and Impact Exchange™. Impact Incubator focuses on raising seed capital for start-up SEs, while Impact Partners is a private placement platform dedicated to growth-stage SEs that are seeking expansion capital. IIX also recently announced the launch of Impact Exchange, operated by the Stock Exchange of Mauritius in collaboration with IIX. Impact Exchange is the world’s first social stock exchange, a regulated stock exchange dedicated to listing and trading securities issued by mature SEs and other socially-driven organizations. IIX’s sister not-for-profit company, Shujog, assists in capital raising through its proprietary impact assessment, research, advocacy and advisory work.
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