Incofin IM and Danone will pool capital from major investors to invest in innovative water businesses that provide affordable and safe drinking water to underserved populations. This will catalyze further growth for the entire water sector.
The joint initiative comes at an opportune time. According to the UN, 3 out of 10 people do not have access to safe drinking water. Inadequate or unreliable access to safe water is a harsh reality, especially in large parts of Africa and Asia. Piped water is the most common method to get water to consumers, but where piped networks are unavailable, people rely on wells or community water supply systems. In some cases, people have to travel for miles to reach the nearest water source. Moreover, the raw water is often boiled on wood fire, which leads to increased CO2 emissions, deforestation and in some cases respiratory diseases. A growing world population, with the fastest growth taking place precisely in regions where water is very scarce, together with a rising consumption and climate change, threatens to increase the inequality in access to safe water even further.
Fortunately, we see up-coming entrepreneurs with promising solutions. Danone and Incofin want 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, investments will also be made in water pipes and water technologies.
“We see a vast amount of young emerging water companies in Africa and Asia. Ambitious, innovative entrepreneurs are leading them, driven by the desire to make a tangible impact for the local population. But the capital needs of these companies are relatively high. This is a situation comparable with microfinance institutions twenty years ago. Just like back then, we want to play a catalyst role and help the pioneering water sector achieve a large scale and achieve a return that will attract other investors in the future.“, Loïc De Cannière, Founder and Managing Partner Incofin IM.
By investing in these companies and offering technical assistance, Danone and Incofin are pioneering an investment approach in the water sector – building on Danone Communities’ experience investing in safe water enterprises since 2007.
“We are convinced that our participations in the young water sector will allow us to build a strong, overarching partnership. Just as with the investments in our microfinance portfolio, we want to be a co-pilot for the entrepreneurs in which we invest.”, Loïc De Cannière.
This investment initiative will help social entrepreneurs scale their impact with all necessary resources. Incofin, a fund manager with strong local presence in regions with greatest need, has numerous successful impact funds and has built the necessary experience in combining a solid return for investors with genuine social impact.
Corinne Bazina, General Manager at Danone Communities: “More than 2 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water. Safe water enterprises can be a scalable and sustainable solution – complementary with other approaches – to supply access to safe water to many of those people in need. Danone’s ambition is to accelerate the development of the water sector and to contribute to SDG 6.”
Incofin Investment Management (Incofin IM) is a leading international impact fund management company, focused on dynamic enterprises in emerging markets. Driven by a desire to promote inclusive progress, Incofin strives to provide the support entrepreneurs need in order to improve the lives of the less privileged people. Incofin IM is an AIFM licensed fund manager and has over 1 billion euro in assets under management. Incofin has a team of more than 60 professionals spread over the headquarters in Belgium and local investment teams in Cambodia, Colombia, India and Kenya.
Dedicated to bringing health through food to as many people as possible, Danone is a leading global food & beverage company building on health-focused and fast-growing categories in 3 businesses: Essential Dairy & Plant-Based, Waters and Specialized Nutrition. Danone aims to inspire healthier and more sustainable eating and drinking practices, in line with its ‘One Planet. One Health’ vision which reflects a strong belief that the health of people and that of the planet are interconnected. To accelerate the food revolution and create superior, sustainable, profitable value for all its stakeholders, Danone has defined nine 2030 Goals, aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. Danone commits to operating in an efficient, responsible and inclusive manner, as reflected by its ambition to become one of the first multinationals certified as B CorpTM. With more than 100,000 employees, and products sold in over 120 markets, Danone generated €25.3 billion in sales in 2019. Danone’s portfolio includes leading international brands (Actimel, Activia, Alpro, Aptamil, Danette, Danio, Danonino, evian, Nutricia, Nutrilon, Volvic, among others) as well as strong local and regional brands (including AQUA, Blédina, Bonafont, Cow & Gate, Horizon, Mizone, Oikos, Prostokvashino, Silk, Vega).
Danone is committed to leading the battle against climate change by putting climate actions even more at the core of its growth model, joining people’s fight for climate and nature with the power of its brands. Danone is one of only 6 companies worldwide with a ‘triple A’ score by CDP in recognition of its leading environmental efforts to tackle climate change, fight deforestation and protect water cycles.
Listed on Euronext Paris and on the OTCQX market via an ADR (American Depositary Receipt) program, Danone is a component stock of leading sustainability indexes including the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, Vigeo Eiris, Sustainalytics, the Ethibel Sustainability Index, MSCI Global Sustainability, MSCI Global SRI Indexes, the FTSE4Good Index and Bloomberg Gender Equality Index.
This press release is made for information purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to invest, which may be made only on a private placement basis at the time a qualifying prospective investor receives an private placement memorandum the offering. All information contained herein is qualified in its entirety by information set out or referred to in such a private placement memorandum.