The Global View

Ignia fund’s social conscience nets it $20 million


money5.jpgNormally when Greenbang gets a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, she knows it’s time to lay off the advocaat cocktails. But today, it’s not advocaat giving her that feeling, it’s a recently closed venture capital fund.

The Latin American Ignia fund, which has wrapped up with $20.6 million-worth of investment, says it will be investing in companies serving ‘the base of the pyramid’ – a euphemistic way of saying the region’s poorest people.

The fund is looking for “high growth entrepreneurial businesses” which can help out those low income citizens.

More on the fund:

Industries of focus include health care, education, housing, nutrition and basic utilities (such as water, energy, and sewage). The Fund will invest between US$2 million to $10 million over the life of a portfolio company while making initial investments as small as US$500 thousand.

Sounds like clean tech could come into play here, Greenbang reckons, particularly in water sanitation and that old favourite, renewable energy.

While Ignia has netted $20.6 million in this first round of funding ($10 million of which came from the Omidyar Network), there’s more to come. According to the company, there’s a target of between $50 to 75 million for the fund, with a second round expected to close during the summer.