Today the U.S. National Advisory Board on Impact Investing (NAB) named Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, as the new Chair, joining the leadership team that includes Matt Bannick, Managing Partner at Omidyar Network, and Tracy Palandjian, CEO of Social Finance US. The NAB aims to catalyze the development of the impact investment market. "As a society we are facing enormous challenges and through impact investing we can create sustainable, scalable solutions for the public good. Impact investing is a win-win, generating beneficial social or environmental impacts alongside financial returns, "said Walker. "I am honored to take up this position at such an exciting time for impact investing and the NAB." With Darren as Chair, the NAB will continue to shape policy, to evolve alongside the challenges and opportunities of the impact investing sector, and to guide the impact investing community towards a collaborative and successful future. Click here to read more.
New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) gets one year extension with $3.5 billion in annual credit authority provided for 2014 as a part of the one-year retroactive tax extender bill. The NMTC had expired at the end of 2013 and passage of this bill would allow the CDFI Fund to consider pending NMTC applications for 2014.
CDFI Fund programs received $230.5 million in appropriations as President Obama signed into law the FY 2015 Omnibus spending bill. The CDFI Fund programs appropriation has $152.4 million set aside for Financial and technical Assistance grants and $22 million for the Healthy Foods Financing Initiative. Remarkably, the bill waives the match requirement for FY '15 FA awards made to small and/or emerging CDFIs or Native CDFIs and both the match and the three-year grant cap are waived for HFFI applicants. This has been the largest appropriation for the CDFI Fund in five years.
Optoro Inc., a cloud-based technology company that enables retailers and manufacturers to increase their revenue from returned and excess inventory, today announced that it has closed a $50 million Series C funding. The funding round was led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) joined by Generation Investment Management (Generation) with participation from existing investors Revolution Growth, Grotech Ventures and SWaN & Legend Venture Partners. KPCB Partner Daniel Oros will join the board. Optoro Inc. is a portfolio company of SJF Ventures II, an investee fund of CDVCA's Central Fund Fund-of-Funds portfolio. For more information please click here (Business Wire).
NewBank, a portfolio investment of East Coast Capital Holdings, a CDVCA member investment fund, received the FY 2014 Pinnacle Award by the Small Business Administration for making the most '7a/504' loans.
Bill Gates has made an investment in Unitus Seed, an impact investment fund that focuses on Indian social enterprises, taking for the first the equity route to help drive social and economic change in India. The co-founder of Microsoft, who has been directing millions of dollars in grant capital to the country for years, has joined Indian origin investor Vinod Khosla and a group of Seattle-area techies in backing Unitus Seed. "Impact investing is a powerful model with the potential to build markets and drive change for the people who need it most," said Gates. Read more about it here.
Coastal Ventures’ portfolio company, SmartPak, saw a successful exit through acquisition by Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC), the world’s largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, animal health and medical practitioners. Its U.S. Animal Health business, Henry Schein Animal Health, has entered into an agreement to acquire an approximate 60 percent ownership position in SmartPak, the leading provider of equine supplements and horse supplies across the United States. SmartPak had sales in 2013 of approximately $105 million and expands Henry Schein’s product and service offering to the equine community. Henry Schein Animal Health is a leading companion animal health distribution company in the United States. Over the past decade, SmartPak has been recognized at both the national and local levels, including ranking on the Inc. 500 /5000 lists of America’s Fastest Growing Private Businesses for nine consecutive years; being ranked as #249 on the Internet Retailer 500 and #35 on the Internet Retailer Social Media 500; selected as one of only 66 companies nationally to earn Bizrate’s Circle of Excellence Award (Bizrate powers Google’s reviews); earning StellaService’s highest possible service rating: Elite; ranking among the Boston Globe’s annual Top Places to Work in Massachusetts; and receiving the Innovation Award from the Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE). Mr. Gisholt received the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for Consumer Products in the New England Region and has also been named one of the “Best Bosses” by Fortune Small Business and Winning Workplaces. Read more about ...
The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) released today the Notice of Allocation Availability (NOAA) for the calendar year (CY) 2014 round of the New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC Program). The NOAA makes up to $5 billion in tax credit allocation authority available for the CY 2014 round, pending Congressional authorization. The CDFI Fund provided the NOAA on its website in anticipation of its publication in the Federal Register later this week. The New Markets Tax Credit spurs investment of private sector capital into distressed communities by providing a tax credit to corporate or individual taxpayers who make qualified equity investments in designated Community Development Entities (CDEs). The CDEs, in turn, invest the capital raised into projects and businesses in low-income communities. The credit provided to the investor totals 39 percent of the investment in a CDE and is claimed over a seven-year credit allowance period. The CDFI Fund has made 836 awards—totaling $40 billion in tax credit allocation authority—to CDEs through the NMTC Program since the program’s inception. More information about the NMTC Program can be found on the program’s website or in the program’s fact sheet.
CDVCA supports the ‘Small Business Access to Capital Act of 2014’ bill for its potential to stimulate job creation across the states by making available much needed capital to small businesses and leveraging private capital. CDVCA from its experience managing the Innovate NY Fund, New York State's SSBCI funded venture fund of funds, has seen firsthand the impact of the 2010 funding round. Click here to view a one pager on the bill.
Staff members from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) (collectively, the agencies) are hosting a discussion of the revisions to the “Interagency Questions and Answers Regarding Community Reinvestment” (Q&As) that were issued on November 15, 2013, and the revised interagency “Large Institution Community Reinvestment Act Examination Procedures” (CRA examination procedures) that were issued on April 18, 2014. The revisions to the Q&As and the revised CRA examination procedures primarily address community development issues. This webinar will cover new Q&As that - clarify how the agencies consider community development activities benefiting a broader statewide or regional area that includes an institution’s assessment area. - provide guidance related to CRA consideration of, and documentation associated with, investments in nationwide funds. - clarify the consideration of certain community development services, such as service on a community development organization’s board of directors. - address the treatment of loans or investments to organizations that, in turn, invest those funds and use only a portion of the income from their investments to support a community development purpose. - clarify that community development lending performance is always considered in a large financial institution’s lending test rating. The deadline for registration to join the live session is July 17, 2014. Please follow this link to OCC's website for more details. Related Links Webinar Registration “Large Institution CRA Examination Procedures” "Interagency Questions and Answers Regarding Community Reinvestment” “Supplementary Interagency ...