Resources created and curated to support the growth of impact investing, for those new to the field and for experienced practitioners.
An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers
Capria is advancing the next generation of local fund managers that invest in hundreds of small and growing businesses ("SGBs") in Africa, Latin America and Asia. We provide these select fund managers with a unique platform for success, including senior-level partnering, a global peer network, and tailored capital. Our growing network of fund managers focus on addressing the "missing middle" opportunity, delivering both market-rate returns and impact at scale. Over 10 years, we expect to activate over $3.5 billion for SGBs in emerging markets and directly impact over 30 million lives. Capria also manages Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund), the leading seed-stage impact fund in India, investing in education, healthcare and fintech. Unitus Seed Fund I ($23M, vintage 2013) has already directly impacted over 2.5 million people in India and had two exceptional exits; and the firm has also completed a first close for Fund II ($45M+) from both domestic and international investors.
Successful and profitable early-stage and early-growth-stage impact investing can best be accomplished with an efficient, systems-driven process led by on-the-ground, empowered, professional, local investment teams. They deploy market-aligned investment structures, including venture equity, quasi-equity and debt to fit the needs of local SGBs.
GIIN, DGGF and others have identified significant global deficits in the deployment of early-stage risk capital, commonly called the "missing middle" – comprised of businesses overlooked by banks, DFIs and private investors, who tend to focus on more mature, later-stage businesses. Successful and profitable early-stage and early-growth-stage impact investing can best be accomplished with an efficient, systems-driven process led by on-the-ground, empowered, professional, local investment teams. With 16 fund managers in the growing Capria Network and hundreds in our pipeline, we have validated that a significant supply of highly capable missing middle fund managers exist in emerging markets. Capria's fund manager partners deploy market-aligned investment structures, including venture equity, quasi-equity and debt to fit the needs of local SGBs. These local fund managers invest in under-served sectors of local economies that have strong potential for growth and impact, including education, healthcare, housing, energy, financial services, logistics, food and agriculture.
Government funded DFIs and some private firms have fund of funds (FoFs) investing in fund managers in emerging markets; however, most DFIs and FoFs invest in funds exceeding $100 million. A handful of DFIs and FoFs will invest in very small impact funds, but these firms typically target concessionary returns. To our knowledge, no other firm offers a vehicle for private investors to efficiently deploy capital to local fund managers that are investing in SGBs in emerging markets, via funds of typically under US$100 million, which are targeting market-rate returns and impact at scale. Furthermore, no firm has developed such a robust investment process that sources, screens, and supports those investments with a combination of senior-level support, a tightly coupled peer network, and tailored capital that helps local funds to optimize their potential for success and helps to de-risk the investment for their investors.
BetterPlace is addressing the service economy of India's insatiable need to hire millions of blue-collar workers in an efficient way. It created India's leading "trust platform" that decreases costs and increases the speed and integrity of the hiring process. BetterPlace reached profitability in under 3 years and currently has annual revenue of $5M, serving over 300 B2B customers, including, Amazon, Flipkart, Swiggy and Zomato. They have built rich data profiles of 3M+ blue-collar workers and are growing the database by double digits monthly. The platform delivers impact by providing transparency and credibility to blue collar workers, significantly improving their chances of employability, and by providing opportunities for affordable, targeted on-the-job training. In addition to providing background verification, attendance, mobile-delivered training and onboarding services, BetterPlace is using its latest funding round to build out an exciting new fintech offering for its largest customers, empowering un-banked workers while saving customers money.
Dave Richards – Co-Founder & Managing Partner More Info
Dave Richards is an experienced entrepreneur, executive, and global early-stage investor. Co-founded Capria. Co-founded Unitus Seed Fund, the leading venture impact seed fund in India. Previously, Developed and led multiple high-growth technology businesses at RealNetworks, Sybase and Symantec from startup to multiple hundred million dollar global enterprises.
Will Poole – Co-Founder & Managing Partner More Info
Will Poole is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor, focused on improving ecosystems that bring opportunity to low-income populations. In 2012, he co-founded Unitus Seed Fund. Will's career started by founding two startups at the dawn of the PC era, working in the early days at Sun Microsystems, and pioneering e-commerce at eShop which was acquired by Microsoft in 1996. At Microsoft, he ran the $13B global Windows business and started their product focus on emerging markets.
Srikrishna Ramamoorthy – Partner More Info
Srikrishna brings both entrepreneurial and investing perspectives with extensive experience in impact investing, consulting and implementation. Srikrishna joined Unitus Seed Fund as a Partner to setup and lead India operations in 2012. Unitus Seed Fund is now the leading venture seed fund supporting startups innovating for the masses in India.
Percentage of Total Assets Under
Management that are Impact Investments:
In India, Unitus Seed Fund exclusively invests in companies which are targeting to deliver scaled essential services and benefits to low-income populations (defined as BoP, or under $2/day per capita income). We are targeting companies which can each serve at least 100,000 families and/or create at least 2,000 new full-time jobs for this population within 5 years. We have already directly impacted over 2.5 million lives in India, and created over 9,000 jobs. With Capria, we are operating globally, investing in and supporting local impact fund managers in select emerging markets. Over 10 years, we expect the Capria network of funds to deliver social and environmental impact that will improve the lives of over 30 million low-income people and activate over $3.5 billion in impact investment capital. Commitments with specific impact metrics are included in all our investment agreements, and are monitored and reported annually. Capria Fund and Unitus Seed Fund are fully compliant with IFC's ESG standards; and Capria ensures that all Network partners comply similarly.
We are proactively seeking impact investment teams that have female members of their leadership team, have generally diverse teams and are indigenous to underserved regions. Currently, 36% of our teams in the Capria Network have a female partner or principal. This is also very important to a number of our key investors, including Ford Foundation and Omidyar Network.