Investing in and supporting 40 entrepreneurs setting up early-stage impact venture funds; Leveraging Unitus’ 15 years of experience accelerating financial services startups.
Seattle, WA, September 8, 2015 – Capria announced today the launch of Capria Accelerator, the first global business accelerator for impact VCs. Capria will invest in, support and help capitalize new fund managers backing early-stage startups primarily in markets including South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America. The program will provide capital, tools, training, technical know-how, fundraising support, investment support, and opportunities for peer learning through connection to a growing global network of impact fund managers.
Capria is the newest venture for Will Poole and Dave Richards, co-founders of Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund), the leading venture seed fund investing in startups innovating for the masses in India. They are also joined by David Riley, a sought-after specialist in fund formation, structuring, analysis and review. Capria will be leveraging Unitus’ 15 years of experience setting up multiple international pioneering venture funds and an investment bank, which have collectively raised over $1.2 billion.
Update (Oct 7): Capria Attracts Interest from over 100 Aspiring Fund Managers
Applications are now open for fund managers interested in partnering with Capria from fund formation to full scale investment execution. Learn more: https://capria.vc
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Addressing the demand for early-stage risk capital in emerging markets
J.P. Morgan, Monitor Group, and the WorldBank have all identified significant global deficits in early-stage risk capital, commonly referred to as the “pioneer gap” or “missing middle”. Capria believes that successful seed-stage impact investing can only be accomplished with an exceptionally efficient systems-driven investment process led by on-the-ground, empowered, professional investment teams. Over the past eight months, Capria has invested in proprietary research across the financial services ecosystems of 12 countries, confirming that significant demand exists in Capria’s target regions.
“The increasing availability of billions in capital targeted to impact opportunities around the world is tremendously exciting to see,” said Jim Sorenson, founder of the Sorenson Global Impact Investing Center. “However, much of this capital is allocated to later-stage lower-risk investments. Many more early-stage investors are required to fund, mentor, and grow impact businesses so they can access new sources of capital. Capria’s accelerator is an excellent effort to address this market need on a programmatic global basis.”
Global scaling of Unitus’ proven financial services acceleration model
Since 2000, Unitus Labs alumni have successfully launched three venture firms (Elevar Equity, Unitus Impact, and Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund)) and an investment bank (Unitus Capital) which have together raised more than $1.2B in capital to support entrepreneurs serving the masses in emerging markets across South Asia, Southeast Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2012, Unitus supported and invested in Dave Richards and Will Poole to launch Unitus Seed Partners, a new impact venture capital firm. They raised a $23 million fund, Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund), with leadership investors including Bill Gates, Steve Singh, Vinod Khosla, Desh Deshpande, Romesh Wadhwani, Mohandas Pai, Hemendra Kothari, and multiple private foundations led by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation and The Lemelson Foundation. Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) is currently the leading venture seed impact investor in India. Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund)’s in-country team has reviewed over 1,000 deals and invested in 18 Indian startups in healthcare, education, mobile consumer, retail and more.
Capria Accelerator is leveraging the institutional knowledge, networks, and partnerships established over Unitus’ 15 year history and creating a system to scale impact while generating market rate returns on a global basis.
Building a global network of startup impact fund managers
Capria is providing startup VCs with risk capital, “warehousing” of initial investments, systems and tools, fundraising support, investment evaluation support, and access to a growing global network of impact VC managers. Capria will also be sharing access to its principals’ experience setting up more than 100 funds globally. They will also provide operations support and give fund managers insider access to data and knowledge shared by other network members.
“Current trends indicate that over the next decade that there will be hundreds of early-stage impact funds setup across the globe,” said Dave Richards, Capria’s Co-Founder & Managing Partner. “We are excited to invest in financial entrepreneurs setting up these new funds and to help them get to market up to a year faster with lower risks and higher investor confidence.”
“Capria Accelerator is addressing a huge market opportunity … high-quality startup fund managers with significant local business and investing expertise who are tapping into interest from both global and local capital,” said Will Poole, Capria’s Co-Founder & Managing Partner. “And even more importantly, we are building an international network of startup VCs supporting and sharing insights, referrals and experience with each other, and helping their portfolios thrive in a global marketplace.”
Capria team brings significant experience to launching emerging market funds
Principals of Capria Accelerator are:
- Dave Richards, Managing Partner: Experience includes Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund), Unitus Labs, RealNetworks, Sybase, Symantec
- Will Poole, Managing Partner: Experience includes Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund), Vidyanext, Microsoft, eShop, Sun Microsystems
- David Riley, Venture Partner & General Counsel: Experience includes Morrison Foerster, Cooley, Linklaters
- Jack Knellinger, Principal: Experience includes VentureScale, SVP India, Microsoft
Capria Accelerator’s initial expert advisors include: David Chen: Founder and CEO, Equilibrium Capital; Bill Hughlett: CFO, Voyager Capital; Eric Savage: Co-Founder & CEO, Unitus Capital; Ross Baird, Executive Director, Village Capital; Atul Bindal, formerly Partner, Khosla Ventures; Lucho Torres, Director, Angel Ventures Peru; and Ann Short, COO, Unitus Capital.
Now accepting applications for startup VCs
Applications are now open through October 31, 2015 for the first program cohort which will include no more than five fund management teams. More details and apply: https://capria.vc/apply
About Capria Accelerator
Capria Accelerator is the first global business accelerator for impact VCs. Capria invests in, supports and helps capitalize new fund managers backing early-stage startups primarily in markets including South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America. Capria Accelerator was founded in 2015 by the co-founders of Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund), the leading impact venture seed fund in India. Capria Accelerator is backed by Unitus, a pioneer in incubating financial services firms that address global problems with innovative, market-driven solutions. Capria Accelerator is managed by Capria Ventures LLC and is based in Seattle at Impact Hub Seattle. More at https://capria.vc