KANSAS CITY, Mo., March 31, 2022 (Newswire.com) - WaterEquity, the first asset manager exclusively focused on water and sanitation, today announced the final close of its third impact investment fund, the Global Access Fund. The Fund is oversubscribed, with total investor commitments of $153 million. The Fund will invest equity capital from institutional investors, foundations, impact investors, and donor-advised funds alongside $100 million of debt capital from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). Investments will target sustainable returns with high credit quality and are organized around financial inclusion, gender-lens investing, and access to safe water or sanitation.
"It is deeply gratifying to see the enthusiasm and commitment of participants in our third fund," said Paul O'Connell, President of WaterEquity. "It illustrates that our ability to deliver true impact, amplified by the support of DFC, is a compelling offering for impact investors."
WaterEquity's Global Access Fund will address the global water and sanitation crisis in emerging markets by providing capital to financial institutions for water and sanitation microloans. These microloans enable low-income consumers to install water and sanitation solutions, such as water connections and toilets, within their own homes. This directly addresses Sustainable Development Goal 6—to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. It also advances other development goals leading to improved health, economic security, gender equality, and climate resilience. Over its seven-year term, the Fund aims to reach 5 million people with improved access to water and sanitation across Asia, Latin America, and Africa. 100% of those targeted will be low-income families and 60% will be women.
"Globally, 1 in 10 people do not have access to safe water, and 1 in 4 lack access to a toilet, with women and girls disproportionally affected," says Genevieve Edens, WaterEquity's Director of Impact & ESG. "The global water crisis is an enormous overlooked market opportunity that can provide true, undiluted impact for investors focused on ESG."
According to the World Bank, there is a $1 trillion market opportunity for providing water and sanitation services to all people worldwide by 2030. To address this market opportunity, WaterEquity will continue to scale its investments across the water and sanitation sector, from household-level solutions to climate-resilient water and sanitation infrastructure.
WaterEquity is the first asset manager exclusively focused on solving one of the most urgent issues of our time—the global water and sanitation crisis. We invest in financial institutions, enterprises, and infrastructure in emerging markets delivering access to safe water and sanitation to low-income consumers while offering an attractive risk-return profile to investors.
Founded by engineer Gary White and actor/writer Matt Damon of Water.org, the success of WaterEquity is built on decades of experience investing in water and sanitation in emerging markets, delivering proven social and financial returns. Since 2016, WaterEquity has raised more than $200 million across three funds, reaching nearly 3 million people with access to safe water or sanitation, with women comprising 97% of individuals directly supported by our investments. Learn more at https://waterequity.org.
Jeso O'Neill, Communications Director, WaterEquity