Impact Investment Profile

Investor

Gray Ghost DOEN Social Ventures Coöperatief U.A.

Investee

Beam Money Private Limited

Gray Ghost DOEN Social Ventures Coöperatief was founded to provide capital to developing world, early-stage enterprises that innovatively apply proven technologies to serve underserved populations. Beam Money Private Limited (Beam) is an Indian mobile payment services company that enables subscribers to make electronic payments without the need for a bank account. The start-up equity investment allowed Beam to develop a franchise business model that to develop new products and services and accelerate its geographic expansion.

Investor Targeted Impact

Increase access to financial transaction services for the unbanked

Investor

Name Gray Ghost DOEN Social Ventures Coöperatief U.A.
Investor description Gray Ghost Social Investments N.V., a U.S.-based family office, together with the DOEN Foundation, a Dutch philanthropic foundation, founded and capitalized Gray Ghost DOEN Social Ventures Coöperatief U.A. (Coöperatief) in 2008. The Coöperatief is an impact investment fund focused on early-stage enterprises in the developing world that use innovative applications of proven technologies to address the needs of underserved populations.

Investee

Name Beam Money Private Limited
Sector Financial Services
Geography India
Investee business model Beam Money Private Limited’s (Beam) payment system allows its subscribers to make payments without use of bank accounts or credit/debit cards. Instead, clients can transfer money via their mobile phones, using Beam’s mobile applications, text messages, the internet, and voice calls. By providing access to electronic transfers for the unbanked, Beam increases the financial inclusion of underserved populations, especially the poor and those living in rural areas.
Motivations for investment Mobile-based services can reach the roughly 500 million Indians who remain un- or under-banked within the traditional banking system with affordable payment services. As India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is projected to grow at approximately 7 percent per year through 2017, it will continue to fuel demand for new products and services such as those provided by Beam. The country already has 890 million mobile phone subscriptions, and many are accessible to people living on low to moderate incomes. Beam is unique because the service can be used on any mobile phone provider’s network and with any bank, rather than only being used in partnership with a specific provider. In the future, Beam will offer customers the opportunity to open accounts with local banks, further expanding their access to financial services.From an impact perspective, the investment is attractive because Beam creates products and services for underserved communities. Access to electronic payments can save clients money and increase their control of their finances with a transparent and easy-to-use service. For example, one of its services is an affordable mechanism for migrant workers seeking to remit money home, who otherwise rely on a slow and expensive system for domestic remittances.

Investment

Instrument Equity
Investment size USD 3.25 million
Source of deal Beam was referred to the fund by a contact at a microfinance network.
Stage of company at time of investment Start-up
Purpose of investment The Coöperatief’s investment has allowed Beam to expand its cost-effective services that help customers conduct everyday transactions, such as transferring money, paying utility bills, and purchasing train and airline tickets. Beam has used the investment to develop a franchise business model that has enabled nearly 11,000 franchisees to offer Beam’s services. As of 2012, the company operates in 12 Indian states and union territories. Beam used the investment to expand into rural areas to better reach underserved communities.
Investment impact objectives Gray Ghost Ventures, through the capitalization of the Coöperatief, seeks to enhance livelihoods of the underserved in developing countries through innovative technology applications. The investment in Beam has the following impact objectives:Reduce the stress and security risks of conducting transactions exclusively in cashCreate a cost-effective money transfer system for the un- and underbanked in India Create opportunities for people with mobile phones to become micro-entrepreneurs, who run businesses that facilitate access to Beam services for those without mobile phones Provide bank accounts for the unbanked by partnering with local Indian banks to allow customers to deposit funds in their account by visiting local franchisees.
Social and environmental metrics tracked on investment The following indicators are measured and tracked to monitor impact generated through the investment in Beam: Number of Unbanked Clients Individuals Provided New Access (IRIS aligned – PI2822)Number of Beam Micro-entrepreneur Distributors (IRIS aligned – PI2758)Income Generated for Micro-entrepreneur Distributors from Selling Beam Services (IRIS aligned – PI4881)Number of Beam Sales transactions (IRIS aligned – PI5184)Client time and money saved by using Beam services, relative to other services/no services.

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