As the Social Capital Market Conference (SoCap) begins today in San Francisco, VillageReach is very excited to announce that Oasis Fund, a European investment fund, has committed a $1.375 million investment in VidaGas, the propane energy company owned by VillageReach and the Mozambique Foundation for Community Development (FDC). SoCap is full of social entrepreneurs, investors and innovators excited about using private money for social good- but thus, far there are few true real-world examples of large scale, social investing. This investment is a landmark transaction that demonstrates the potential for channeling private investment capital into commercially viable social businesses in developing countries. Furthermore, the investment affirms the effectiveness of VillageReach’s model for enacting sustainable, systemic change to global health by establishing for-profit businesses to fill gaps in infrastructure. The investment will enable VillageReach to expand its customer base and energy service offering to impact a greater number of households and businesses in remote areas of northern Mozambique.
VidaGas was started in 2002 to support the health system improvement program developed by VillageReach and FDC. More than 80% of Mozambique’s population is rural and depends on charcoal and wood for basic cooking and heating. Safe and reliable propane from VidaGas enables health centers to provide critical health services including vaccinations, equipment sterilization and nighttime birthing. Additionally, propane from VidaGas is a clean and affordable alternative to charcoal and wood for households, small businesses, and light industry clients. VidaGas has grown over 500% since 2002 and is now the largest propane distributor in northern Mozambique.
Oasis Fund is a Luxembourg investment fund which finances innovative, growth stage, commercially viable enterprises that deliver basic goods and services that improve the lives of low-income communities. This investment is the first investment in Africa for the Oasis Fund. Oasis Fund is advised by Bamboo Finance, a Geneva based investment advisory firm.
VillageReach’s Social Business Director, Craig Nakagawa, will be speaking with Keely Stevenson, of Bamboo Finance, about the investment at SoCap tomorrow.