Today (Oct 16th, 2023), being the ‘World Food Day’ and the theme of this year is “Water is life, Water is food. Leave no one behind”, Incofin’s Water Access Acceleration Fund (W2AF) announces its first investment of in Rite Water Solutions (India) Pvt. Ltd. for EUR 7.5 m. 

With this, W2AF marches into the next step of success and impacting the world by providing access to safe and affordable drinking water to millions through its investment. The fund’s overarching goal is to bring safe drinking water to 30 million people in water-scarce areas by 2030.

W2AF is an impact-first blended fund that invests in safe drinking water enterprises, primarily in Africa and Asia. W2AF’s investors include Danone, BNP Paribas, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the Danish development finance institution IFU, Norfund, Aqua for All, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Incofin is a leading global impact investment firm headquartered in Belgium with EUR 1.4 billion Assets under Management. Incofin has a vintage of 22 years globally and primarily focuses on sectors being agri-food, financial services, water. It has made investment across 65 countries and has 100+ global team members based out of 7 global offices.

Rite Water is India’s rural affordable drinking water and tech backed company providing comprehensive, cost effective and sustainable solutions for safe drinking water to habitations across India where water sources are chemically & biologically contaminated. With this investment in Rite Water, Incofin’s W2AF is steadfast in common ambition to provide 50 million litres of drinking water everyday by 2028 through this investment.

Incofin just sold its 28% equity stake that its Rural Impulse Fund (RIF II) had in Unguka Bank to LOC Holdings, one of the leading global financial platforms for micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs).

RIF II sold its entire 28% participation in Unguka Bank in Rwanda. Since its investment in 2012, RIF II has helped the company more than double its total assets from USD 14 million to USD 29 million, growing into the largest microfinance bank in Rwanda, serving 1,685 clients.

Geert Peetermans, Co-CEO of Incofin commented: From the time we entered over a decade ago as first foreign institutional investor in the then early-stage microfinance bank Unguka, its team has consistently built out tailored services and deepened outreach among Rwanda’s rural MSMEs. We are today passing on the baton to a new strategic investor, with confidence that Unguka Bank and its spirited team have a great future ahead offering responsible financial services.”

In addition to financing, Incofin has provided technical assistance to the bank to develop an agricultural lending strategy, related products and methodologies as well as to migrate to a new, more efficient core banking management system. This was in line with the RIF II-mission to promote socio-economic development in rural areas.

Besides its lending activities (for purposes such as job creation, housing and agricultural development), Unguka Bank has made significant contributions to social protection. Through an annual budget allocation, the bank for example supports vulnerable populations by covering school fees for children and constructing shelters.

Reflecting on the journey with Incofin, Justin Kagishiro, CEO of Unguka Bank, said: “Unguka Bank is grateful to RIF II for the exciting journey we have been on together since 2012 and for the impact we have made on our customers. We see Incofin not only as a financial investor but also as a trusted partner to extend our reach.”

Commenting on the significance of the investment in Unguka Bank, Deputy Chairman of LOLC Holdings Ishara Nanayakkara said: The African region possesses immense growth potential, characterized by higher GDP growth. Leveraging on our position as a leading global player in the MSME market, we are eager to address the requirements of this population segment and empower them to enhance their standard of living. By implementing our successful MSME model within Unguka Bank, we aim to offer accessible financial products and services that effectively meet the diverse financial needs of entrepreneurs. As LOLC remains committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we actively contribute to economic development as a responsible lender, promoting financial inclusion while upholding robust client protection principles.”


About Rural Impulse Fund II

Rural Impulse Fund II is a EUR 120 million (USD 173 million) fund that was launched in 2010. The fund aims to contribute to the alleviation of poverty in rural areas by investing in microfinance institutions that have a strong presence in these rural regions.


LOLC Holdings

The LOLC Group is one of the most strategically diversified financial services conglomerates with presence in 23 countries across Asia, Africa and Australia. This extensive coverage enables LOLC to reach a population of over 1.3 billion globally, effectively catering to the needs of the underserved populations in each of its markets. LOLC is engaged in financial services, leisure, plantations, construction, mining, manufacturing and trading, digital empowerment, research & innovation and other strategic investments. As a leading player in the international MSME sector, the Group has been a catalyst in facilitating financial inclusion, whilst striving to maximise environmental benefits through green operations and processes, in line with its triple bottom line focus.


About Unguka Bank

Unguka Bank Plc ( is a Microfinance Bank which started as a Microfinance Institution and licenced by National Bank of Rwanda since 2005. Unguka Bank is licenced to take deposits from clients and grant loans, as well as other related financial services. Its 14 branches and 1 outlet are opened in the Capital City of Kigali and other 3 Provinces (North, South and West) of Rwanda; it is yet to open a Branch in Eastern Province. The Bank has been serving the population, both in rural and urban areas, women and men, as well as MSMEs operating in various economic sectors.

Incofin invests INR 35 crores or USD 4.3 million in India’s rural affordable housing finance market by partnering with Varashakti Housing Finance (VHF) becoming its first institutional investor. The series A funding comes from the Incofin India Progress Fund.

VHF, led by Ms. Sahaana Sankar, focuses on the rural housing finance market, offering loans for asset creation in three South Indian states. With the loans benefiting women, who serve as either primary borrower or co-applicant, VHF has catered more than 4,200 borrowers till date. This ensures that women have equal rights and access to finance and opportunities for asset creation.

Director of VHF, Ms. Sahaana Sankar, founded VHF in 2017 with a mission make the aspirational dream homes of low-income households a reality. “We are excited to join forces with Incofin. This funding allows us to expand our business, scale up the organisation and further impact the lives of the rural underserved segment and enhance overall borrower experience. We will benefit immensely from Incofin’s global experience and value creation and look forward to including them in our journey!”


The Incofin India Progress Fund (IPF), launched in 2021, is a private equity fund to support promising entrepreneurs with growth capital. Financial incuclusion is one of the two main focus points for the impact fund. Commenting on IPF’s third investment in ihe financial inclusion space, Aditya Bhandari, Partner and Regional Director Asia Equity for Incofin: “With this investment, Incofin reinforces its mission to invest with a gender lens and to support climate resilient solutions. We see a large opportunity in the rural Indian affordable housing finance industry and believe that VHF’s experienced team together with its strong technology platform will realise success while achieving deep impact goals.”

As of June 2023, VHF offers home loans, home improvement loans, loans against property, small ticket business loans and reported an asset under management of INR 119 crores with 28  branches. VHF aims to reach an asset under management of INR 1,750 crores by catering to 30,000 borrowers in the next five to seven years.


Incofin raises fresh capital from new shareholders Degroof Petercam Asset Management (DPAM) and Korys. The transaction allows Incofin to accelerate its growth and to expand its impact in emerging countries. The new investors join the two founding shareholders of Incofin:  Incoteam, the vehicle holding the staff members’ majority stake and Incofin CVSO, a social investment company with more than 30 years of existence, out of which Incofin Investment Management spun off in 2009.

According to a survey (GIIN, 2022) the size of the global impact investment universe amounts to EUR 1 trillion. These investment play a vital role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, a funding gap to reach the SDGs by 2030 still exists. According to OECD, reallocating 1.1% of the total assets held by banks, institutional investors or asset managers – almost EUR 4 trillion – would be sufficient to fill the gap in SDG financing. This is why impact investments are key for the future of our planet and why impact fund managers such as Incofin IM play a vital role.

Pioneering into new territories, both in terms of asset classes and geographies, has always been core to Incofin’s entrepreneurial approach. The capital increase will boost the company’s capacity to launch new initiatives, including funds integrating a smart climate and gender lens.  In addition, Incofin is at the forefront of developing best practices in impact measurement and reporting.

“The company’s’ unique strengths are attributable to the management’s drive and independence. However, in 2020, we realized we needed to boost our growth trajectory by attracting fresh capital and team up with partners, as we saw immense untapped investment opportunities. We wanted partners contributing to excellence in governance and capitalizing on our company culture. DPAM and Korys were the winning combination. With them on board we proudly remain a company rooted in Belgium but with unlimited global outreach.”Loïc De Cannière, Founder and Chair of Incofin Investment Management

For DPAM, its first ever investment in an impact investing firm feels like a natural next step in line with the company’s longstanding commitment to sustainability.

“We have been thinking about broadening our offer for a long time, especially in the direction of impact investments in private debt and equity. We also perceive a growing demand from customers in this direction that we would like to meet. Today, we are a reference partner on responsible investments in emerging markets. This cooperation is fully in line with our commitment to sustainable development and strengthens the social component of it.”Peter De Coensel, DPAM CEO

For Korys and Incofin this is not the first partnership.

“And we are happy to deepen this partnership with Incofin,” says Frederik Bauwens, Investment Director at Korys. “After a first investment in agRIF in 2016, Korys became a cornerstone investor in the India Progress Fund in 2021. We are a long-term investor focusing on sustainability, we particularly enjoy working with partners who share our core values and aim to make a positive impact. Together with the existing shareholders and DPAM, we make sure Incofin remains an independent investor anchored in Belgium, yet with a global impact. Furthermore, we love the idea that this partnership will expand our network and help us to connect with new players active in areas close to our heart.”

Incofin CVSO, a long-time shareholder since it split off its management activities into Incofin Investment Management, welcomes the two new shareholders.

Ever since Incofin CVSO was founded in 1992 – now more than 30 years ago – its mission has been to support entrepreneurs in emerging economies by offering them appropriate financing.  Incofin CVSO is proud that this trajectory has made it possible to now attract new like-minded shareholders in Incofin IM  This will enable Incofin to continue its strong growth path in the coming years, with even more positive impact for entrepreneurs in emerging economies.” Michiel Geers, Chair of Incofin CVSO

All parties involved underline how this new partnership brings a tremendous opportunity to leverage more sustainable impact and financial inclusion for low-income people in emerging countries. A major new initiative is already at an advanced stage and will be officially launched within a few months.

Argo acted as transaction counsel, advising both Incofin IM as issuer and Incoteam and Incofin CVSO as existing shareholders of the company, in relation to the capital increase.




Incofin announces in the lead-up to the UN 2023 Water conference, the launch of the Water Access Acceleration Fund (W2AF). W2AF is a private equity fund focusing on safe drinking water, with EUR 36 million of commitments. The blended fund aims to provide 20 billion liters of water to 30 million people, mainly in Africa and Asia. W2AF invests in innovative water businesses that provide affordable, safe drinking water to underserved populations.

The committed capital comes from a diverse pool of private and public investors, including Danone along with BNP Paribas, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), Norfund, the Danish development finance institution IFU, and international foundation Aqua for All. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) provided catalytic funding to enable a first-loss tranche.

W2AF is the first private equity initiative in a sector that is traditionally financed by  governments, donors and foundations. The fund aims to demonstrate the financial viability of the safe drinking water market worldwide.  It has a blended finance structure – an approach to use part of the public and private donor funds to attract capital from private investors. W2AF hit EUR 36 million in commitments at this first closing and aims to achieve total capital commitments of EUR 70 million in subsequent closings.


W2AF goes the last miles

Today, more than two billion people do not have access to safe drinking water. Inadequate or unreliable access to safe water is a harsh reality for many, especially in large parts of Africa and Asia. Piped water is in most countries a common way to get water to consumers, but where piped networks are unavailable or unreliable, people rely on wells or community water supply systems. Mostly women and girls have to walk, sometimes for miles, to reach the nearest water source. A growing world population, together with rising consumption and climate change threatens to increase water access inequality even more.

More and more, local entrepreneurs are coming up with promising market-based, yet affordable solutions. W2AF plans to invest in various decentralized solutions, such as water kiosks, which deliver safely treated drinking water in gallons to the home or to the local store. In addition, the fund will invest in water pipe infrastructure and water technologies. The investments will contribute to delivering safe drinking water to low-income communities around the world.

State Street Bank International GmbH in Paris will provide depository services.

Drinkable water is a luxury we too often take for granted. Yet, 2.2 billion people today do not have access to safely managed drinking water. Meanwhile, there are talented water company owners who know how to solve this problem but can’t find an investor who aligns with their vision to help them scale up. That’s why Incofin created the W2AF, to address the growth capital needs of these entrepreneurs, and to prove that the drinking water sector is investment-ready, even when targeting low-income people.” Dina Pons, Managing Partner Incofin and W2AF Fund Relationship Manager.

“In a context where 1 in 3 people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water, we consider that it is crucial to join forces with public and private actors and scale up financial and social impact. Water is a key pillar of our mission to bring health through food and drink. Building on the experience of our impact fund Danone communities, we are today going a step further in supporting innovative social businesses dedicated to water access issue, and we hope other actors will soon join us.” Henri Bruxelles, Chief Sustainability and Strategic Business Development Officer of Danone

Blended finance is critical to achieve universal access to water. Safe drinking water enterprises complement public efforts serving low-income communities in emerging markets. These enterprises struggle to access capital to scale and become sustainable. By making impactful water investments, W2AF will pave the way for other private and public investors, said Josien Sluijs, Managing Director of Aqua for All.

“Norfund is delighted to play a part in setting up this first-of-its-kind fund and contribute to developing new ways of mobilizing the needed capital to provide access to safe and affordable drinking water. Norfund has ambitions to invest further in this sector that is essential for people’s health, but also for job creation, and we see this fund as an important step in building a larger portfolio”, says Delphine Gilbert, Investment Manager at Norfund.

“We are very happy to join W2AF that aims at improving affordable and safe water access for underserved low-income population in South Asia and Africa with a Just Transition approach, a very innovative initiative in the impact investing space. Indeed, W2AF’s theory of change focuses on the safe water value chain which addresses both social and environmental issues with substantial positive impacts: avoiding preventable diseases, fostering gender equality, plastic bottles reduction, CO2 emissions avoidance, …. , Laurence Pessez, Head of Group CSR at BNP Paribas.

“W2AF investments in innovative water businesses will advance water security by providing affordable, safe drinking water to millions of people in Africa and Asia. The fund will work to address the fundamental problem of access to clean water, which is increasingly scarce due to climate impacts such as excessive heat and drought. We are proud to be a part of this investment that meets DFC’s mandate of financing solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today”, said Jake Levine, Chief Climate Officer at DFC.

“Lack of access to clean drinking water has profound consequences for billions of people in emerging economies, and we are far away from meeting the SDG 6 target on creating access to safe water for all. W2AF is an innovative tool to mobilise the needed private capital, which can speed up investments in private sector water companies and demonstrate that the water sector is financially viable. We are looking forward to being part of this initiative and make a positive impact by providing clean and affordable water to 30 million people”, said Arent Christian Kjær, Investment Director at IFU.

At State Street we believe that addressing ESG issues can help generate better long-term outcomes. As an asset servicer, asset manager and responsible corporation, we aim to create value for our stakeholders. We are very pleased to accompany Incofin with the launch of this pioneer fund and to provide depository services”, Christophe Baurand, Country Head at State Street Bank International GmbH in France.




Incofin’s exit is the first exit of the agRIF fund and has resulted in an attractive return on investment for Incofin. agRIF, Incofin’s fund focusing on financial inclusion in the agricultural value chain, entered the capital of Inecobank in 2018. In total, agRIF has invested about USD 70 million in 11 companies. The founders of Inecobank are acquiring the shares of Incofin.

Inecobank, founded in 1996, is one of the leading banks in Armenia, with more than 600,000 customers. It is the market leader in POS lending as well as in mobile/online banking solutions. It consistently ranks among the most profitable banks in the country.

Jan Dewijngaert, Director Private Equity at Incofin commented: Inecobank and Incofin enjoy a long and fruitful relationship, both through debt products and equity. During the nearly five years that agRIF has been shareholder, Inecobank has shown remarkable growth, increasing its client reach by nearly 50%, and thereby strengthening its profile in impact investing. The bank has an excellent leadership team that managed to boost profitability even in the difficult context of the past few years. This deal also demonstrates that even in today’s challenging times, successful equity divestments are possible.

 Legelata Law Firm in Armenia acted as legal advisor to agRIF for this transaction.