New York, NY, March 30, 2022 – Women’s World Banking Asset Management (“WAM”) has announced the final closing of its second fund, WWB Capital Partners II, L.P. (“WWBCP II” or “the Fund”). Following its first closing of $75 million in March 2020, WWBCP II held a final closing in March 2022, bringing the total Fund size to $103 million. The Fund seeks to help close the gender gap in financial inclusion, while demonstrating the business case for gender lens investing by achieving attractive returns for its investors. WWBCP II was named a 2X Challenge Pioneer Flagship Fund in July 2021.
Christina Juhasz, Chief Investment Officer of WAM, said, “We’re deeply grateful to our LPs for their support and eager to continue our journey as gender lens investors for financial inclusion. This new fund allows us to be even more intentional in leading gender-inclusive growth with our portfolio companies, deepening outreach to financially underserved women and female-identifying customers and increasing employment and leadership opportunities for them – all of which is consistent with achieving attractive financial returns for our LPs.”
Mary Ellen Iskenderian, CEO of Women’s World Banking noted, “We are especially gratified to have been able to reach the triple-digit fund size – which is still quite rare in the under-invested gender lens investing space – and we hope to draw additional investor interest to the many innovative gender strategies that are poised for success.”
WWBCP II expands the gender-focused investment strategy of WAM’s first fund with innovative features designed to enhance its social and financial returns. These features include a blended finance structure, which enhances risk-adjusted returns for private and institutional investors, and a dedicated, grant-funded technical assistance facility to help portfolio companies achieve strategic, gender-inclusive growth objectives. WWBCP II’s anchor investors, the European Union (“EU”) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (“BMZ”) facilitated by the German development bank KfW, provided critical funding for both the first loss tranche as well as the technical assistance facility.
The Fund’s strategy is to invest in innovative inclusive financial service providers in the emerging markets that prioritize attracting and serving a gender diverse customer base and expanding gender diversity within their workforces to achieve outperformance in growth and financial return. Through the technical assistance facility, the Fund provides data-driven market and organizational gender analysis for each of the Fund’s portfolio companies in order to identify opportunities to acquire and better serve women and female-identifying customers and to recruit, retain and advance women and female-identifying talent in their workforces. These assessments will result in a Gender Action Plan, to capture gender inclusive strategic growth opportunities for each portfolio company. Gender disaggregated reporting will hold the Fund and its portfolio companies accountable to achieving gender inclusion targets.
WWBCP II has closed five investments to date, including an affordable housing finance company in India, a tech-enabled, small-hold agri-insurance broker and advisor in Sub-Saharan Africa, a fintech community lender in Colombia, a peer-to-peer MSME lender in Indonesia, and a deposit-taking microfinance institution in Uganda. Further information regarding the portfolio available on the WAM website.
The Fund’s investors include, in addition to the EU and BMZ, the United States Development Finance Corporation, the European Investment Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency, German development bank KfW, Soros Economic Development Fund, Sasakawa Peace Foundation, MEDA, Dreilinden, Ceniarth and USAID, as well as additional impact investors, family offices and high-net worth individuals.
European Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen said, “Women’s economic empowerment is essential for tackling inequalities as well as for sustainable development and growth. Empowering women is a key priority for the European Union. The EU is proud to work together with Women’s World Banking, leading the way on women’s financial inclusion and gender lens investing.”
About Women’s World Banking Asset Management
Women’s World Banking Asset Management, a subsidiary of Women’s World Banking, invests in innovative inclusive finance companies in the emerging markets, guiding them to capture the substantial market share of financially under-served women and the substantial talent pool of women staff and leaders.
About Women’s World Banking
Women’s World Banking designs and invests in financial solutions, institutions, and policy environments in emerging markets to create greater economic stability and prosperity for women, their families, and their communities. With a global reach of 62 partners in 35 countries serving more than 138 million women clients, Women’s World Banking drives impact through its scalable, market-driven solutions; gender lens private equity fund; and leadership and diversity programs. To learn more visit womensworldbanking.org.
For further inquiry contact: Christina Juhasz, Chief Investment Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President & CEO, email@example.com