Unitus Capital (“UC”) had another fantastic year in 2015, despite the challenges that are the reality of our world, as we solidified our position as the leading social impact investment bank globally and celebrated our seventh anniversary of operations. Importantly, our clients inspired us every day with the impact they are making in the lives of those living at the bottom of the economic pyramid (“BoP”).
Since our founding in 2008, we have now raised ~ $1.4bn for 67 high quality impact businesses in India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia, China, and Australia, in sectors including microfinance/financial inclusion, healthcare, women’s empowerment, renewable energy, education, and agriculture.
As we look back on 2015, we wanted to share with you some of the year’s highlights:
- For the last three years, UC has been ranked India’s #1 investment bank, based on private equity transaction volume, by Venture Intelligence. The Venture Intelligence League Tables are the only rankings which track transaction volumes for India-based companies. This #1 ranking was a major accomplishment for UC, since we competed against many more established firms for this top position.
- VCCEdge also named UC the #1 investment bank in 2015 and 2014 by deal volume.
- We earned these recognitions by successfully raising $58mm of equity for 18 innovative impact businesses in 2015, and ~$720mm in total equity for our clients to date. One such transaction in 2015 was for Karadi Path, an education company providing high-impact, low-cost programs to deliver English language proficiency to children and adults, even in environments where the language is not supported. UC helped Karadi Path raise funding from Pearson Affordable Learning Fund, which invests in companies across the developing world addressing the demand for quality, affordable education, and Indian impact investor, Aavishkaar.
- In 2015, we raised $169mm in debt for 12 clients, and have raised a total of ~667mm to date, in order to fund our clients’ growth and increase their social impact. UC completed multiple transactions for Janalakshmi, India’s leading microfinance company and a longtime UC client, including a $50 million subdebt investment by CDC.
- UC has raised ~$117mm in 2015 and $245mm since inception through NCD (Non-Convertible Debentures)/ECB (External Commercial Borrowings) placements in the microfinance and healthcare sectors. In 2015, UC helped healthcare company Relisys raise capital from the India Life Sciences Fund. Relisys designs, develops and manufactures critical care devices (such as stents, catheters and stent systems) used to treat cardiovascular, neurovascular (stroke) and other life-threatening diseases. With its low cost, high quality products, Relisys is uniquely positioned to make these kinds of products accessible to the population at large.
- We are excited to announce that Unitus Impact, in which UC is an investor and partner, has successfully completed the capital raise for our $43 million Livelihood Impact Fund.
Our client base expanded in 2015 to include new leading social entrepreneurs in the healthcare, education, renewable energy, and agriculture sectors. Our diverse clients included:
- Chaitanya India Financial Credit is a Bangalore based NBFC MFI, which focuses on improving the lives of low-income families in rural areas by providing financial services.
- Sahayog Clean Milk is a Bhopal based dairy company working to establish a reliable and transparent market for dairy farmers, in order to upgrade the condition of underprivileged sectors in society.
- Speakwell, based out of Mumbai, has a mission to provide skill development services to make individuals more employable in the modern economy. The company offers affordable online courses in spoken English, digital marketing, and online sales/e-commerce.
- ORB Energy is a leading provider of solar energy solutions in India, with a mission to make solar energy affordable to customers. It manufactures, sells, installs and services its products, which include solar streetlights, water heaters, power projects, and invertors.
- Milaap is an online fundraising platform that enables people from all over the world to fund and impact communities in need of basic facilities in India. It is the world’s first online micro-lending platform that allows people from outside India to make a loan to India.
We are pleased to see the growing awareness of impact investing among investors worldwide and recognition of the potential for investments in impact businesses to yield attractive market rate as well as social returns. In addition to an increase in investment dollars dedicated to impact investing, UC saw a number of new, mainstream investors in our transactions last year and expect this trend to continue in 2016.
We are also encouraged by the growing number of impact businesses focused on providing products and services to address serious social and economic issues in BoP markets. It is indeed rewarding to help our clients grow their businesses and make a difference in the lives of their clients. Going forward, our focus will continue to be providing best-in-class financial advisory services to create social and financial value for investors, impact businesses, and most importantly, BoP communities.
We are excited about our potential to help many more impactful companies scale their businesses in 2016 and beyond.
We thank you for your support and look forward to working with you in 2016.
Onward and upward!
The UC Team