Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) today announced final close of MDIF Media Finance 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.”
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
For more information, contact Peter Whitehead, MDIF Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, +44 7793050670.