Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) today announced final close of MDIF Media Finance I (MMF I), a $6-million impact fund investing in independent news media in select emerging and frontier markets.
“We are delighted to have closed MMF I and ramp up financing for companies that provide the news, information and debate that people need to build open societies,” said Harlan Mandel, MDIF Chief Executive Officer. “MMF I loans will help build companies that expose corruption, hold governments to account and provide balanced coverage of elections.”
MMF I provides affordable debt to independent news companies in a range of countries where access to free and independent media is under threat. The fund will invest in companies in countries such as India, Ukraine, Bolivia and Lesotho.
MMF I notes pay 4% annual interest and, under a pioneering agreement with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), MDIF and Sida provide investors with 55% first-loss protection. Sida also provides technical assistance grants to fund investees to build their management capacity.
MMF I investors include the Open Society Foundations (Soros Economic Development Fund), Dreilinden, a Dutch family office and Antonis Schwarz.
“MMF I will finance investments in software, equipment, content production, workspace, as well as working capital and short-term cash-flow needs – all vital for company growth,” said Mr. Mandel. “With the successful close of MMF I, we are now looking forward to launching MMF II later this year.”
About Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF)
MDIF is a New York-based not-for-profit investment fund for independent media in countries where independent media are under threat. It has 22 years’ experience of helping build quality news and information companies – print, digital and broadcast – in emerging markets. It has:
- invested more than $166 million in 114 media companies
- worked in 39 countries on 5 continents
- a current portfolio of more than $60 million invested in over 50 media organizations.
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