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GAWA Microfinance Fund I achieved a first closing of $28 million

posted Nov 10, 2010, 4:17 AM by Luca Torre   [ updated Jul 26, 2012, 9:33 AM by Luca Torre ]

Madrid, October 1, 2010      
GAWA Microfinance Fund I achieved a first closing of $28 million. The funds will be invested in both debt and equity of scalable and sustainable microfinance and small & medium enterprise (SME) focused financial institutions.

Ambers&Co Capital Microfinanzas and Treetops Capital have completed a EUR 20 million (US$28 million) first closing of the Gawa Microfinance Fund (Gawa).  The funds will be invested in both debt and equity of scalable and sustainable microfinance and small & medium enterprise (SME) focused financial institutions. The geographical focus will be Latin America, Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The objective of Gawa is to have a direct impact on low-income populations around the world, while generating attractive financial returns for investors. 

The Gawa fund will be a strategic investor that aims to help improve the financial and social performance of the institutions it invests in by providing active management support to help create scalable and well-governed institutions. Gawa will work with institutions to help integrate and strengthen their technology platforms, improve corporate governance and risk management, and prepare them for capital market activities. Gawa’s investment team is comprised of individuals coming from Ambers Co Capital Microfinanzas and Treetops Capital with a diverse set of skills to help execute this value-added strategy. Recognizing the importance of technology in expanding the scope of financial services to the under-banked Gawa has the ability to also invest in adjacent markets around microfinance including mobile/branchless banking opportunities.

"The investors in the first close were all private sector investors that are new to this asset class," says Agustin Vitorica, founder and Co-CEO of Ambers&Co Capital Microfinanzas.  "It was one of our goals to help broaden out the investor base," says Luca Torre founder and Co-CEO of Ambers&Co Capital Microfinanzas.

“Gawa’s team strongly believes that institutions that perform well on various social indicators - especially those that are well-governed, transparent, and customer centric -- are also well-positioned to achieve strong financial results.” says Mitchell Lench, founder and CEO of Treetops Capital.  To this end, the Gawa Fund has developed a rigorous social screening, monitoring, and reporting system for its investments.

Popular Banca Privada, a leading Spanish wealth management firm, belonging to Banco Popular group, supported the fund raising activities of the fund. Popular Banca Privada is excited to participate in a fund that enables them to invest with their values in a relatively low correlated asset class that provides exposure to the burgeoning growth at the bottom of the pyramid.