Philanthropy

Vulcan Impact Investing

Vulcan Impact Investing (VI2) identifies and invests in market-based solutions that have the potential to transform lives through sustainable, scalable approaches to development. 

We support projects and businesses which accelerate access to infrastructure and services designed to meaningfully improve quality of life.  We are actively expanding our African portfolio in 2016.

Mini Grid White Paper promo

VI2 Principles

Innovative – our investments hinge on inventive technology, business models and/or development principles

Inclusive – our investees serve excluded and under-served populations and have diverse management team

Impactful – we measure success through Return on Investment, Social Impact and Environmental Impact

Informed – our extended network is on the ground and active in the countries in which we operate

International – VI2 has its roots in Africa but may consider projects around the globe and in our Pacific Northwest backyard

Patient capital, Relentless effort

VI2 bridges the gap between founder and venture capital funding.  We are specifically interested in projects or companies:

  • based in Sub-Saharan Africa with a focus on Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia
  • focused on enabling infrastructure – mainly last mile off-grid electrification, connectivity, sustainable heating and cooking, and fresh water access
  • with the potential for scalable and enduring impact (+1 million lives touched)
  • with a clear, compelling business plan and demonstrated proof of concept

VI2 is led by Courtney Blodgett who brings over a decade of experience in Africa implementing innovative sources of finance for impact-oriented businesses.

Our investments and partnerships to date can be seen below: 

MicrogridVulcan owns 10 solar powered micro-grids in rural Kenya which are operated in partnership with SteamaCo. The micro-grids provide electricityto villages with 21,000 residents combined and allow for a diverse range of economic activities.

The renewable and reliable electricity from the micro-grids replaces energy from kerosene and diesel. In addition to reducing emissions, the replacement of fossil fuels also provides health benefits to the consumers. We power businesses that provide opportunities for local wealth generation.

The data being gathered through the 10 mini-grids provide insight into what is necessary to establish a sustainable, scalable microgrid business model. Vulcan will share lessons learned and data analysis to help catalyze further investment in micro-grids.

 


MawinguMawingu Networks uses high-performance low-cost wireless technology and solar power to build fast internet networks in rural areas. Mawingu’s unique application of open technologies enables a world-class scalable network, with open and secure roaming in a highly challenging geographical environment.

Mawingu launched in Nanyuki, Kenya. The technology connects individuals, local businesses, schools, government offices, libraries and health-care facilities.

The Internet has evolved into a powerful economic engine that has improved quality of life and transformed the way that governments, businesses, and individuals connect, engage,
and access critical information and services. Mawingu seeks to continue to extend the reach of that impact. 

Mawingu is funded by VI2, Jim Forster and Microsoft.   

 

 


Devergy

Devergy is a social utility company that provides affordable, reliable access to electricity to customers in developing countries. Solar power is distributed to households and businesses, allowing the use of appliances such as radios, televisions, lights, and refrigerators, creating a major impact on the economic life of a village.

The service is based on innovative micro-grid technology that can be easily scaled up as demand increases.

Vulcan is partnering with Devergy to expand into new regions in Tanzania, trial a new approach to financing grid installations, and launch their eSquared Program. eSquared is an operational model where qualified network of installers source, sell and implement grids for Devergy.

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