To address the toughest challenges faced by low-income communities in Latin America, a growing number of high-impact companies with scalable and profitable business models are tackling social inequalities and environmental problems. Unfortunately, there remains a large gap in the financing of this type of company in the region.
For more than six years, at Acumen Latam Impact Ventures (ALIVE), we have addressed these opportunities by investing in high-impact companies. Now, ALIVE is announcing a first close of US$20 million of our second US$80 million impact investment fund. This fund will invest in companies that use technology and other game-changing innovations to transform the lives of low-income communities in Latin America with a focus on Colombia and Peru.
The first close was made possible with the support of renowned international institutional investors, including the Dutch Good Growth Fund, the Latam Impact Fund, and Acumen, as well as local institutional investors, such as Fundacion Bancolombia, Fundacion WWB, and others.
With the closing of its second fund, ALIVE reaches over USD $50 million in Assets Under Management (AUM) and becomes the largest impact focused fund manager in the Andean Region.
Virgilio Barco, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of ALIVE, said: “With our second fund, we are thrilled to continue to support extraordinary entrepreneurs who are tackling the region’s greatest social and environmental issues.” Santiago Alvarez, who is also Managing Partner and Co-Founder, added: “We are particularly proud that we have achieved these milestones with our highly diverse team – which include 50% women and 25% LGBTQI+ people – and our diverse investor base, including 42% Latin American investors.”
Specifically, ALIVE's second fund will invest in profitable and scalable companies that provide low-income communities in the region with:
Education & Pathways to Quality Jobs Companies that provide vulnerable populations with high quality, cost effective and pertinent education and training, and connect them with the formal job market.
Sustainable Income Generation Opportunities Companies that provide services that allow SMEs and small-scale entrepreneurs - including farmers - to thrive.
Access to Critical Goods & Services Companies that provide vulnerable communities with critical goods and services, such as access to energy, telecommunications and access to health.
Solutions for Climate Resilience & Mitigation Companies that provide vulnerable populations with ways to mitigate climate change and/or improve their ability to prepare for, recover from, and adapt to climate related risks.
Investment Director at ALIVE and General Partner of the second fund, Pia Morante, explains that like the first fund, the second will provide catalytic capital and operational support “to enable companies with proven business models to scale their operations, maximize their impact and reach long-term profitability.
Furthermore, the Investment Director explains that in line with its commitment to gender equity as a founding member of 2X Global, ALIVE’s second fund will also be 2X Eligible and will systematically apply a gender lens to its investment processes. Its second fund also incorporates a robust climate strategy, seeking through its investments to improve the capacity of low-income communities to adapt to climate-related risks, while constructing a more sustainable and better performing portfolio.
“ALIVE has a strong track record investing for both impact and financial returns in the region,” shares Sandra Sainz, Managing Director of Sonen Capital, the investment advisor to the Latam Impact Fund, a fund managed jointly by Sonen Capital and Fondo de Fondos, “we are excited to partner with ALIVE for its second fund and contribute to scaling some of the region’s most impactful and innovative companies.”
As part of its overall strategy, ALIVE will systematically measure the impact of its second fund, conducting periodic impact measurement studies of all its portfolio companies. Moreover, ALIVE will continue reporting on its portfolio contribution to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and maintain its commitment to meet the highest ESG standards as signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment.
Marie Heydenreich, Investment Manager at Triple Jump which manages the lead investor Dutch Good Growth Fund said, “We are excited to continue supporting ALIVE’s efforts to scale SMEs that are making a profound and scalable impact in the region. We invested in ALIVE’s first fund in 2018 and have been greatly impressed with their execution capabilities. This second fund will position ALIVE as a leader in the Andean impact investing ecosystem, and we feel proud to continue partnering with them.”
Finally, through this second fund ALIVE maintains its strategic relationship with Acumen. Jacqueline Novogratz, Acumen CEO and Founder, says, “It’s exciting to be a part of this journey and watch ALIVE’s impact scale in Latin America, in partnership with Acumen. It’s truly impressive to see how the ALIVE team is taking on the social and environmental challenges facing low-income communities in the region.”