Vineet Rai, founder of the Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group
India-based impact investor Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group has closed its Aavishkaar Bharat Fund at US$95 million. The fund can now start to invest the capital it has raised, while it aims to reach a capital target of US$200 million within the next 12 to 18 months. Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods firm, and the government of Norway, have rolled out plans for a US$400million climate resilience fund that will support firms committed to agriculture, inclusion of smallholder farmers and sustainable forestry. International Finance Corporation (IFC) has acquired a 7.5 percent equity stake in the Afghanistan International Bank (AIB) to help the lender increase its commercial lending portfolio for financial inclusion among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Venture capital fund Lok Capital, based in New Dehli, has closed its third vehicle for financial services, agribusinesses and healthcare at US$90- US$100 million. The fund has already deployed 60 percent of its capital, around US$5.6 million of which has been invested in affordable housing finance company Ummeed Housing Finance. UE LifeSciences Inc, a medical technology start-up, has struck a commercial partnership with GE Healthcare to assist in marketing and distributing its breast cancer screening technology in countries across South-Asia, South-East Asia and Africa. The Development Bank of Nigeria has recently announced a total loan extension of US$13.8 million towards three microfinance banks for onward-lending to Nigerian MSMEs. The investee lenders include Fortis Micro finance Bank Plc, LAPO Microfinance Bank Limited and NPF Microfinance Bank Plc. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has lent Santefarm, the largest pharmaceutical distributor in Kosovo, €1.5 million for the construction of a greenfield logistics centre. Santefarm supplies generic and branded drugs, over-the-counter products and medical materials to more than 600 pharmacies throughout the country. The UK’s development finance institution, CDC Group, has invested €46 million to support affordable business hotels across the Africa continent. The investment supports the pan-African 3-Star group, ONOMO Hotels, which targets African business travellers crossing the continent. The Union Internationale de Banques (UIB), a Tunisian lending institution, has established a partnership with the French development finance institution Proparco to provide technical support to small businesses as it seeks to strengthen the country’s SME base.