IGNIA, a venture firm targeting companies that help Latin America’s poor, has raised another $13.6 million. That brings the total amount for its first fund to $34.2 million.
Co-founder and managing partner Alvaro Rodriguez Arregui told me in June that his goal is to take microfinance (i.e. trying to do good by giving small loans to traditional businesses) to the next level. By adopting a model that’s closer to typical venture capital and making investments of between $2 million and $10 million per company, Arregui said IGNIA can have a bigger impact. Google.org, the Omidyar Network and the Soros Economic Development Fund created a similar investment firm in India, but IGNIA has now raised more than double the India fund’s $17 million. (Omidyar actually led the investment in IGNIA’s first round.)
Based in Garza Garcia, Mexico, IGNIA has already started investing its money, with $3 million going to health care company Primedic and $2 million to affordable housing company Jardines de Grijalva.
The new funding comes from the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), a U.S. family foundation and individual investors from Europe and Latin America. Despite the global economic crisis, IGNIA says it still plans to invest between $75 and $100 million overall, combining a target of $50 to $75 million in equity with the $25 million in debt that the fund also closed with the IDB.