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Non-Profit Foundation
upayasv.org

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Investments

14

Partners & Customers

2

About Upaya Social Ventures

Upaya is building the businesses that will create jobs and improve the quality of life for the ultra poor. Upaya's goals are universal - an ecosystem of profitable and scalable businesses that are employing and benefiting the ultra poor as seen through robust systems for measuring social change.

Upaya Social Ventures Headquarter Location

India

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Latest Upaya Social Ventures News

The Brief: Revenue-based financing and zero-interest debt, digitizing Kenya’s taxis and Prazil’s informal businesses, boosting organic farming, DoL’s ESG rule

Nov 2, 2020

Featured: Impact Voices How creative financing structures can help companies preserve jobs and weather the pandemic. Flexible investment structures that prioritize employees and customers alongside entrepreneurs and investors are helping companies preserve good jobs through the pandemic. In a guest post on ImpactAlpha, Bhakti Mirchandani of Trinity Wall Street and Sachi Shenoy of Upaya Social Ventures round up examples of impact investors deploying flexible structures. In India, Upaya established a stabilization fund to extend revenue-based financing to its nearly two dozen portfolio companies, representing more than 16,000 jobs. Investees are eligible for loans of $25,000 on average, with a six-month repayment grace period for agreeing to job preservation targets. The companies will repay a small percentage of gross revenues, up to 1.1 times the original loan amount. Upaya’s investee companies, which have been using the funds to pay salaries and even to provide food subsidies, sustained 98% of their jobs through September. “Our number one key performance indicator is creating quality living-wage jobs,” Jonathan Tower of Boston-based Arctaris Impact Investors told the authors. Arctaris has been using revenue-based financing agreements to provide entrepreneurs with flexibility through the COVID-related economic crisis. The fixed payments of traditional debt are hard for a company that has volatile performance and cyclical sales, and “entrepreneurs are loath to accept lower equity valuations during economic crises,” Tower said. “Royalty-based financing works in all seasons.” Agora Partnerships is using recoverable grants to stock the pipeline of high-impact enterprises in Latin America. Agora uses philanthropic capital to make zero interest loans to entrepreneurs in its accelerator programs (see, “ Latin America’s micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises need working capital to survive and thrive ”). Entrepreneurs who repay within one to two years are eligible for follow-on investment. Agora recycles the original capital as unrestricted grants to assist other entrepreneurs. Revenue-based financing and zero-interest debt, write Mirchandani and Shenoy, “may just be the impact investing tools needed to foster patience on financial returns and impatience on social impact.” Dealflow: Follow the Money Data Integrated gives Kenya’s taxi operators a digital upgrade. In a country where mobile money is ubiquitous, Kenya’s Data Integrated is helping bus operators and communal taxis, or matatus, switch to digital ticketing and payment systems. Its system helps transit operators manage passenger volume and adhere to COVID-related regulatory requirements for cashless payments. Vox Capital backs Brazil’s Celcoin to digitize informal businesses. Celcoin’s platform for small shop owners and other micro retail businesses helps them diversify income streams with services that let customers pay utility bills, buy bus tickets or buy cellphone airtime vouchers. Business owners process transactions through a smartphone and Celcoin’s app. Vox, which invested $1.5 million in Celcoin last year, re-upped in the latest $4 million round, alongside BoostLAB. Signals: Ahead of the Curve Investor protests fail to stop Trump administration rule squelching ESG investing. It’s final – at least until it’s reversed. The U.S. Department of Labor finalized an unpopular rule aimed at limiting environmental, social and governance, or ESG, investing in retirement accounts (see, “ Investors find common cause in pushing back against Trump’s anti-ESG rules ”). The late Friday move by the agency, just four days before the U.S. presidential election, would likely be rolled back if former Vice President Joe Biden is elected. Ceres’ Mindy Lubber said the decision “is unwelcome by pension funds and other fiduciaries and runs counter to global market trends and the mainstream U.S. and global practice of integrating ESG factors into investment decisions.” The final rule will “make it harder for investors to access strategies that consider long-term sustainability,” Morningstar’s Aron Szapiro told Think Advisor. Out of step. The rule drew more than 8,700 comments in a shortened 30-day comment period, with more than 95% opposing it, including all but one of 86 asset managers who filed comments. Globally, some $40 trillion in assets are managed using some kind of ESG focus. Investors have poured record amounts of capital into such funds in 2020. Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent Netflix’s Layla Ramirez, Credit Suisse’s Sherrise Pond and Barclays Investment Bank’s Amadou Sow are among 17 BLCK VC New York City fellows… Open Capital is looking for a project leader and a transaction leader in Nairobi, and a principal of consulting in Nairobi or Kampala… US SIF seeks a director of research and education in Washington DC… Two Sigma is hiring an impact investment associate in Portland, Maine. Impact Entrepreneur hosts “Teaching Impact Investing at Harvard” with Harvard Business School’s Shawn Cole and Vikram Gandhi Laurie, Thursday, Nov. 5… Population Health Learning Collaborative hosts “Solution Summit for the Housing Crisis,” Nov. 17-19… Impact investing platform Capshift becomes a registered investment advisor (see, “ Impact drives alpha, and other lessons from 100% impact donor-advised funds ”). Thank you for reading.

Upaya Social Ventures Investments

14 Investments

Upaya Social Ventures has made 14 investments. Their latest investment was in Haqdarshak as part of their Seed VC on May 5, 2021.

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Upaya Social Ventures Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

5/11/2021

Seed VC

Haqdarshak

$0.91M

No

1

7/30/2020

Seed

Haqdarshak

Yes

Acumen, Manish Subramaniam, Shalini Chabra, and Undisclosed Angel Investors

1

3/13/2020

Seed VC - II

Lal10

$1.1M

No

7

2/20/2020

Series A

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$99M

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10

12/6/2019

Seed VC

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$99M

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10

Date

5/11/2021

7/30/2020

3/13/2020

2/20/2020

12/6/2019

Round

Seed VC

Seed

Seed VC - II

Series A

Seed VC

Company

Haqdarshak

Haqdarshak

Lal10

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Amount

$0.91M

$1.1M

$99M

$99M

New?

No

Yes

No

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Co-Investors

Acumen, Manish Subramaniam, Shalini Chabra, and Undisclosed Angel Investors

Sources

1

1

7

10

10

Upaya Social Ventures Partners & Customers

2 Partners and customers

Upaya Social Ventures has 2 strategic partners and customers. Upaya Social Ventures recently partnered with XLRI on September 9, 2012.

Date

Type

Business Partner

Country

News Snippet

Sources

9/14/2012

Partner

XLRI

India

Blog — Upaya Social Ventures Eco Kargha Handicrafts Marketing Pvt.

The partnership establishes a free flow of ideas , learnings , and best practices between Upaya Social Ventures and XLRI faculty , students , and alumni .

4

11/7/2011

Partner

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10

Date

9/14/2012

11/7/2011

Type

Partner

Partner

Business Partner

XLRI

Country

India

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News Snippet

Blog — Upaya Social Ventures Eco Kargha Handicrafts Marketing Pvt.

The partnership establishes a free flow of ideas , learnings , and best practices between Upaya Social Ventures and XLRI faculty , students , and alumni .

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Sources

4

10

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