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Matt Damon-founded firm raises $33M

/ 05:03 AM September 26, 2018

WaterEquity, a social enterprise organization cofounded by Hollywood actor Matt Damon, announced it has raised $33 million in funds earmarked for water and sanitation enterprises throughout India, Indonesia, Cambodia and the Philippines.

Damon founded the US-based group in 2017, in partnership with social entrepreneur Gary White, to provide investors “a unique opportunity to drive positive social and financial impact.”

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The New York-based Global Impact Investing Network defines “impact investments” as those made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.

WaterEquity’s announcement refers to a first financing close for its flagship fund called WaterCredit Investment Fund 3 (WCIF3), which is intended to raise a total of $50 million that will be spent on efforts to address the global water crisis.

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The group said in a statement a second closing, to raise the remaining $13 million, was expected before the end of this year.

WaterEquity said investors in the first closing included Bank of America, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Ceniarth LLC, Niagara Bottling, and the Conrad N. Hilton, Skoll, and Osprey Foundations.

“We are inspired by the support we’ve received from both existing and new investors who share our belief that markets can deliver financial returns while solving global challenges,” WaterEquity managing director Tom Light said.

The fund is intended for investing in microfinance institutions, microutilities, toilet manufacturers, and water purification kiosks.

According to WaterEquity, WCIF3 is aimed at a 3.5-percent return, and is expected to reach 4.6 million people with safe water and/or sanitation over its seven-year implementation.

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