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MDIF provides affordable debt, equity and quasi-equity financing for projects that strongly advance a news organisation’s economic potential from its PRI (Program Related Investment) Fund. Although financing may be provided to businesses at any stage of development, we typically provide financing to established media outlets seeking capital to expand audience or revenues through investments in infrastructure, such as new transmitters, new product development or working capital.
Loan repayments and capital gains are recycled through the Fund and reinvested to provide further financing for independent news businesses. In the 18 years since it was founded, MDIF has provided close to $130 million in affordable financing, while writing off 4% of the total invested.
Although there is no absolute maximum or minimum investment, the average loan is about US$650,000, with interest rates averaging approximately 7.5%, although this depends on factors such as the nature of the project and the current interest rates available in that country.
Equity investments from the PRI Fund are only made in companies with which we have a pre-existing relationship. However, in 2012 MDIF launched Digital News Ventures, which makes equity investments in early-stage news and information businesses.
Read more about the application process.