ABN AMRO Sustainable Impact Fund (AA SIF) is pleased to announce that it is taking a stake in Lendahand, an innovative crowdfunding platform that gives private investors access to impact investing in emerging markets.
Lendahand’s mission is ‘to fight poverty in emerging markets by investing in people and businesses’. Lendahand CEO Koen The explains, “Countries such as Kenya, Mexico and Indonesia have plenty of passionate business owners who are willing to put in the hard work to improve the world around them. Unfortunately, inflation and high interest rates make it difficult to run a business. This is where Lendahand comes in. We want to fight poverty by empowering locals, and we do this with investments by private investors. The platform offers the possibility of providing loans to businesses starting at as little as fifty euros, in exchange for a fair interest rate.” Lendahand’s model is a way for investors to have a specific social and sustainable impact on the world while receiving a return on their investment.
Since 2013, thousands of investors have already invested 125 million euros in various sectors of the economy such as sustainable energy and agriculture. Their investments have helped to improve the living conditions of more than a million people: by installing tens of thousands of solar panels, for example, but also by supporting thousands of female business owners.
Reaching crowdfunders in France
On the one hand, AA SIF’s investment will make further expansion into other European countries possible, enabling the platform to reach more crowdfunders. The first new market will be France, and two institutional investors in that country are taking part in this round. On the other, Lendahand will use this new capital to strengthen its position in target markets and identify new projects and businesses.
Involved in investments
AA SIF firmly believes in the positive impact created by the platform. Eric Buckens, Investment Director at ABN AMRO SIF notes, “Lendahand is leading the way in raising and utilising crowdfunding to finance sustainable and development goals in emerging markets. Not only does the company have a strong track record in terms of identifying impactful projects, it also gives crowdfunders the possibility to stay closely involved in their investments. This new venture capital investment will allow the company to take the next step.”
Lendahand expects the loans supplied to emerging markets through its platform to reach 1 billion euros by 2026.