Capria Ventures, the impact investment firm based in Seattle, announced the launch of Capria Emerging Managers Fund, a $100 million fund-of-funds which will invest in early-stage equity and debt fund managers in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The announcement, which was made during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit held at Stanford University last week, indicated that the fund would invest in funds led by the best impact investment managers emerging from Capria’s Accelerator program as well as other impact fund managers. Over the next five years, the fund will invest up to $5 million in up to fifteen funds which target early-stage investment opportunities in emerging economies.
Capria Accelerator was established in late 2015 by Dave Richards and Will Poole, the co-founders of Unitus, an impact venture seed fund in India.
“Capria’s goal is to empower the next generation of fund managers in emerging economies by leveraging nearly two decades of Unitus’ institutional knowledge, data and networks in successfully generating market returns while creating impact”, said Will Poole, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Capria. “The Capria Emerging Managers Fund will invest in the best teams emerging from our pioneering Capria Accelerator program.”
According to J.P. Morgan and Global Impact Investing Network’s 6th Annual Impact Investor Survey, impact investors manage over USD 60 billion of global capital which is expected to reach USD 1 trillion by 2020. However, there is an alarming financing gap with respect to investing in early-stage companies — less than 10 per cent of impact investors are focused on early-stage investments. The Capria Emerging Managers Fund will address this critical “missing middle” by expanding investment focus from micro businesses (served by microfinance) to the SMEs (small and medium enterprises), enabling local companies to scale up providing more jobs, improved livelihoods, and better access to affordable products and services.