Matt Damon’s impact investing fund backs CreditAccess Grameen
Photo Credit: VCCircle

WaterEquity, an impact investing fund manager co-founded by Oscar-winning actor Matt Damon, has made a debt investment in Indian microlender CreditAccess Grameen Ltd.

CreditAccess said in a regulatory filing it will raise Rs 17 crore by allotting rupee-denominated, non-convertible bonds to Water Credit Investment Fund 1 LLC.

The fund is managed by US-based WaterEquity, which is focused on raising and deploying capital to water and sanitation enterprises throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The investment firm was founded in 2017 by social entrepreneur Gary White and Damon.

The fundraising comes just months after CreditAccess, which operates under the Grameen Koota brand, secured https://www.vccircle.com/microlender-creditaccess-grameen-raises-debt-funding-from-fmo/ Rs 214 crore (about $30.27 million) in debt funding from Dutch development bank FMO in November last year.

Mumbai-listed CreditAccess provides group lending products as well as retail finance products. It also offers access to non-financial services such as customer awareness and education programmes and sanitation efforts.

WaterEquity provides capacity-building grants to microfinance institutions and water and sanitation enterprises for market assessments, product development, staff training, marketing and loan tracking, according to its website.

The firm had, in November last year, announced the closing of its flagship impact investment fund at $50 million in total commitments. Investors included Bank of America and the US government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

The fund’s investments target sustainable returns with high credit quality. It looks at three components: financial inclusion, gender-lens investing and social enterprise financing.

By investing in financial institutions and water and sanitation enterprises throughout India, Indonesia, Cambodia, and the Philippines, the fund aims to help 4.6 million people gain access to safe water or sanitation.

As of December, the fund had made five investments totalling nearly $17 million to financial institutions in India, Indonesia and Cambodia to scale their water and sanitation lending portfolios.

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