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New $500m impact investment platform launched

Anna Lyudvig
Jan. 23, 2020, 1:24 p.m.

Word count: 578

SDG500, a $500m impact investment platform, has launched, combining partners from the private and public sectors, including United Nations entities, non-governmental organisations and a private equity firm, to catalyse investments that will help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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SDG500, a $500m impact investment platform, has launched, combining partners from the private and public sectors, including United Nations entities, non-governmental organisations and a private equity firm, to catalyse investments that will help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The platform will raise $500m for hundreds of businesses in emerging and frontier markets.

SDG500 will offer an exposure to six different underlying funds: the ABC Fund, an impact investment vehicle targeting smallholder farmers and small and medium agribusinesses in developing countries; BUILD, a fixed income fund aimed at early stage enterprises in the Least Developed Countries; the CARE SheTrades Fund, a gender lens fund which will use debt and equity to invest in businesses in Asia; BLOC SmartAfrica and BLOC Latin America, venture capital funds targeting technology enterprises in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean respectively; and HEAL, a venture capital fund investing in healthtech businesses in emerging and frontier markets.

Each of these funds is or will be managed by impact asset manager Bamboo Capital Partners.

Jean-Philippe de Schrevel, Founder and Managing Partner at Bamboo Capital Partners, said: “The launch of SDG500 is a unique milestone for the impact investing industry. We have never seen a coalition from the private and public sector come together to achieve the SDGs on this scale before.”

The financing gap to achieve the SDGs in developing countries is estimated to be $2.5trn per year.

To achieve the SDGs by 2030, more innovative and sustainable financing solutions are required.

“The missing middle financing gap is real, and it is suffocating early stage enterprises which have the potential to transform some of the world’s poorest and most underdeveloped regions. We believe that by working together to finance and scale these businesses, we can achieve the SDGs and take another step closer to a better, more sustainable future for all,” de Schrevel said.

The funds will use debt and equity to invest at Seed, Series A and Series B stages in hundreds of businesses in emerging and frontier markets.

The blended finance structure of SDG500’s underlying funds is designed to catalyse and de- risk further funding from institutional investors in order to make a significant contribution to achieving the SDGs by 2030.

SDG500 aims to address the ‘missing middle’ financing gap that affects entrepreneurs in these markets, where growth is constrained by a lack of access to follow-on financing.

The funds will target businesses in the agriculture, finance, energy, education and healthcare sectors across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean and Pacific regions.

There will also be a gender- lens focus and some of the funds will specifically invest in businesses that empower and provide jobs for women.

The funds composing the SDG500 platform each include a catalytic first loss layer designed to encourage and protect senior tranches of funding.

Initial sponsors of the catalytic layers of the funds of SDG500 include the European Union, the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, the Governments of Luxembourg, Togo and Tunisia, CARE and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa.

The European Union, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, The African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States and the Government of Luxembourg have committed funding to the first loss layer of the ABC Fund, which has been initiated by IFAD in partnership with them.

The Governments of Togo and Tunisia have committed to the first loss of the BLOC SmartAfrica Fund.

CARE has committed to the first loss of the Care-SheTrades Fund.

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