Open Road Impact Fund Keeps $100 Million of Impact on Track in First Year
The Open Road Impact Fund continues to support high-impact investments across multiple geographies while providing a return on both investment and impact.
New York, May 26, 2021 — The Open Road Impact Fund today announced that it reached $100 million of impact kept on track in its first year of operations. Launched by Open Road Alliance in March 2020, the Impact Fund is the only “impact-first” investing fund focused on providing short-term bridge loans to established social enterprises experiencing an unexpected, externally caused cash crunch on their path to scale. To date, the Impact Fund has disbursed more than $11 million to 30 organizations across impact sectors globally.
The Impact Fund builds on Open Road’s proven track record as the “emergency room” of impact for social enterprises and nonprofits, quickly providing short-term loans for one-time unexpected roadblocks and cash crunches. With its first close in March 2020 and its first loan in April 2020, the Impact Fund proved to be uniquely situated to respond to COVID-19 and the resulting economic crisis. As the social sector faced decreasing revenues and increasing demand for services during COVID-19, the Impact Fund immediately began disbursing millions of dollars in critical bridge capital to social organizations in need. In its first year of operations, the Fund has supported impact organizations across the spectrum, such as a healthcare organization expanding its telemedicine offerings to vulnerable populations in New Jersey, an education company accelerating its expansion into Ghana, and half a dozen solar companies bringing clean, reliable electricity to health clinics, businesses, and homes across sub-Saharan Africa—all amid the global pandemic.
“This milestone of $100 million of impact kept on track is not just a sign of the Impact Fund’s success, but continued evidence of the need for this specialized financing in our sector. The social enterprises we support have the vision and the drive to address some of the world’s most complex issues; we step in because we understand that growing these companies in this uncertain world requires fast and flexible capital. The Open Road Impact Fund is currently the only fund of its kind. This is an invitation for other investors to join us in putting impact first,” said Caroline Bressan, Managing Director, Open Road Alliance.
The Impact Fund consists of institutional investors, family offices, and foundations seeking ways to use their capital to become part of the solution. The Impact Fund seeks to disburse up to $100 million, which would catalyze $1 billion of impact based on Open Road’s historical averages. The Fund is currently accepting investors for a second close to meet the growing pipeline of demand.
“As we emerge from the acute effects of COVID-19, our funding pipeline continues to grow and evolve. The organizations we are currently supporting have moved on from needing six months of cash flow for survival purposes and are back to a path focused on scale and growth. They have built up their resilience and made the adjustments necessary to co-exist with COVID-19. However, the world will always remain unpredictable, and we will continue to step in to preserve investor capital and keep impact on track,” said Open Road’s Chief Executive Officer, Maya Winkelstein.
About the Open Road Impact Fund
The Open Road Impact Fund (ORIF) is the first investment fund designed to provide short-term bridge loans to help social entrepreneurs move from impasse to impact. Launched in March 2020 by Open Road Alliance, the fund offers short-term bridge loans to social impact organizations that run into unexpected obstacles on their path to scale. The Impact Fund has received recognition in the ImpactAssets 50 2021 Emerging Impact Manager List and as a Fast Company 2021 World Changing Idea in the categories of Impact Investing and General Excellence. The Fund is currently accepting investors for a second close to meet the growing pipeline of demand. To learn more, please visit: https://openroadalliance.org/investors/
About Open Road Alliance
Open Road Alliance serves the social sector by keeping impact on track in an unpredictable world. Founded in 2012, Open Road helps nonprofits and social enterprises overcome obstacles to impact. From small startup solar companies in Tanzania to human rights organizations in Syria, Open Road Alliance works across geographies and sectors. As the market leader in social sector bridge funding, our goal is to ensure innovative efforts to address the world’s greatest challenges can carry on without interruption. We do this by offering fast, flexible funding via charitable grants and loans. Open Road Alliance has provided 300+ grants and loans to 250+ organizations across 60+ countries, keeping more than $500 million of impact on track.
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