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ImpactAssets 50: A Global Landscape of Impact Investment Fund Managers
The ImpactAssets 50 (IA 50) is the first open-source, publicly published database of experienced private debt and equity impact investment fund managers.

ImpactAssets 50

An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers

IA 50 2019 PROFILE

WaterEquity, Inc.

Total Assets Under Management: $50 – 99M
Asset Class: Private Debt - Absolute Return / Notes
Primary UN Sustainable Development Goal: 6 – Clean Water & Sanitation
Water and Sanitation
Small/Medium Business Development
Microfinance, low-income financial services & micro-insurance

Firm Overview

Category: Private Debt - Microfinance

WaterEquity is the first-ever impact investment manager dedicated to ending the global water crisis, with an exclusive focus on raising and deploying capital to water and sanitation enterprises throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Co-founded by social entrepreneur Gary White and actor Matt Damon, WaterEquity combines decades of financial and in-market experience to provide investors a unique opportunity to drive positive social and financial impact. 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 with a deep reach into communities living in poverty, WaterEquity's investments help these enterprises to scale, meet increasing market demand, and deliver universal access to safe water and sanitation.

Firm Headquarters: US & Canada
Years of Operation: 3 – 4 years
Total Assets Under Management:
$50 – 99M
Total Number of Investors: More than 25
% of Capital from Top 3 Investors: 50% – 99%
Investment Thesis:

By investing in enterprises that can significantly expand access to safe water and sanitation among people living in poverty, WaterEquity fosters an enduring capital market that accelerates universal access to safe water and sanitation. 

Investment Overview:

Lack of financing is the biggest barrier to ending the global water crisis. WaterEquity builds the market between impact investors and water and sanitation enterprises reaching underserved communities, unlocking the level of capital needed to match the scale of this crisis. By supporting the sustainable growth of water and sanitation enterprises in emerging markets, WaterEquity accelerates an end to the global water crisis for hundreds of millions of men, women, and children.  WaterEquity's funds target investments in enterprises that have significant capacity for scale, a strong financial track record, and a deep reach into poor communities. This includes investing in microfinance institutions, micro-utilities, toilet manufacturers, and water purification and sales kiosks. For example, our investees connect families to piped water systems, finance the construction of high-quality toilets, manufacture water filtration devices, and so much more. We understand the scale of the investment opportunity and how to meet the increasing demand for safe water and sanitation among people living in poverty.  

Company Differentiator:

WaterEquity builds on's 15-year track record with WaterCredit - a market-based model that brings micro-loans to families living in poverty worldwide to help them respond to their water and sanitation needs. Given this foundation, WaterEquity is uniquely positioned to tap into global capital markets and harness the momentum around social impact investing to accelerate progress and impact against the global water crisis. WaterEquity has the needed expertise to build and vet a pipeline of diverse enterprises serving the water supply and sanitation needs of families living in poverty. Strategically following the evolution of WaterCredit and investment opportunities in the water and sanitation sector, WaterEquity is initially investing in enterprises in Asia, followed by subsequent funds focused on Africa and potentially Latin America.

Investment Example

Based in Odisha, India, Adhikar is a microfinance institution that provides sustainable financial services for social and economic empowerment to poor women and their families, with a focus on rural communities. Adhikar launched its water supply and sanitation loan portfolio in 2012, helping its clients get financing for household toilets, piped water connections, and water filters. Adhikar has demonstrated organizational commitment to its water and sanitation portfolio, built strong relationships with local governments agencies involved in water management, and developed well-designed and competitively priced microloan products. To enable Adhikar to scale their water and sanitation loan portfolio, WaterEquity extended a $370,000 three-year loan with a target to reach over 10,000 women and their families with water and sanitation. In the first few months post-disbursement, Adhikar more than doubled the size of their water and sanitation loan portfolio, and they project it will quadruple by 2022.

Leadership and Team

Cumulative Leadership Experience in Investing:
30 years or more
Cumulative Impact Experience of Top Three Firm Leaders:
20 – 29 years
Gary White – Chief Executive Officer More Info

Gary White manages the overall operations of WaterEquity, bringing 25 years of experience in sustainable innovation in water and sanitation. In addition to founding and leading WaterEquity, Gary is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of, a nonprofit organization that harnesses philanthropy to empower people in the developing world to gain access to safe water and sanitation. ( is the resulting organization of the July 2009 merger between WaterPartners, co-founded by Gary in 1990, and H2O Africa, co-founded by actor Matt Damon). He developed’s WaterCredit Initiative, creating new financing options for families living in poverty to meet their water and sanitation needs.

Tom Light – Managing Director More Info

Tom Light leads all aspects of the business including strategy, operations, and expansion. He has more than 18 years of experience in public and private capital markets in the areas of investment management, investment banking, and fund development. Previously, Tom led Grameen Foundation’s impact investing strategy as the Head of the Capital Management & Advisory Center, where he was responsible for directing approximately $50 million in capital through two investment facilities that provided credit enhancements, loans, and equity investments to innovative social enterprises and microfinance institutions across Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Alix Lebec – Executive Vice President of Investor Relations More Info

Alix Lebec oversees WaterEquity’s business development, investor relations, and marketing strategy and execution with 15 years of international experience. As a member of the Executive Leadership team, Alix Lebec supervises WaterEquity’s investment and philanthropic capital raising strategy and execution, along with communications and marketing efforts. A founding member of WaterEquity, Alix co-developed the blueprint for the organization and its compelling fund offerings with a focus on defining the specific value proposition for philanthropists and impact investors.

Percentage of Investment Professionals who identify as women:
Percentage of Investment Professionals who identify as a person of color:*
Percentage of Senior Management Team who identify as women:
Percentage of Senior Management Team who identify as a person of color:*
*People of color include: Black, Latinx, Asian, Native American/Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander, Middle Easterm and multi-racial Americans

Financial Performance

Target Financial Returns Relative to Benchmark:
Concessionary Rates
Actual Performance Relative to Target Financial Returns in the Past Three Years:
In line with initial target returns
Financial Reporting Frequency to Investors or Donors

Impact Performance

Percentage of Total Assets Under
Management that are Impact Investments:
Primary Impact Outcomes:
Increasing access to water and sanitation
Secondary Impact Outcomes:
Addressing climate change and environmental issues
Alleviating poverty
Increasing access to financial services
Increasing access to healthcare services and improving health
Value-added Services Offered:
Access to markets
Business and legal training
Financial literacy training

Investments systematically target companies where social and/or environmental impact is integral to the product/service being created:

WaterEquity provides debt financing to enterprises with the potential to increase access to water supply and sanitation products, services, and/or financing for families living in poverty. Investments seek to achieve maximum social impact while simultaneously generating positive financial return. In order to become eligible for a WaterEquity investment, a candidate must be willing and able to use loan proceeds to expand access to water and sanitation products, services, or financing in a target country.

Investments systematically include social and environmental sustainability practices in the due diligence process:

WaterEquity invests in enterprises that support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6 (universal access to water and sanitation) and are committed to sustainable and equitable environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices. ESG terms (in accordance with our ESG policy) are negotiated and incorporated into the legal investment agreements, as appropriate. Alternatively or additionally, WaterEquity incorporates ESG action plans, targets, and reporting requirements into management's ongoing key performance indicators. All borrowers sign an ESG certificate certifying that the borrower as well as its directors, officers, and affiliates complies with WaterEquity's specific ESG requirements. In cases where candidates do not have acceptable ESG risk levels and are unwilling to agree to action plans to close ESG performance gaps, WaterEquity will not invest.

Impact Tracking and Monitoring

Impact is Tracked:
Social and/or Environmental Impact is Reported to Investors and Donors:
Yes – to the public
Third Party Validations:
Participant on steering committees or leadership roles within impact industry associations
Publisher or contributor to industry white paper or other research in impact investing

Learn More

Key Contact Name: Hannah Kovich
Phone: (913) 706-7670
Mailing Address:

1829 Walnut Street, Floor 3, Kansas City, MO 64108

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