Acumen Fund and WaterHealth International: The Role of Venture Philanthropy

By Jane Healey, David Hoyt, William Meehan III
2007 | Case No. SM158

Acumen Fund was founded in 2001 to provide modest amounts of capital, together with business expertise, to help build thriving enterprises that would serve large numbers of poor people. In 2004, Acumen Fund invested in the Series B round of WaterHealth International (WHI), a company that was developing approaches for providing clean water to the poor worldwide. In 2006, WHI planned to launch a major initiative in India. It also planned a new round of fundraising to support the company’s continued growth. The case provides background information on venture philanthropy, and on Acumen Fund. It also describes the problems associated with safe drinking water in developing countries, and WHI’s approach to addressing those problems.

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