VERGE Capital Launches Breakthrough Fund II to Advance Local Action on Housing, Climate, and Equity in Southwestern Ontario

SVX
5 min readSep 28, 2023

LONDON, ONTARIO, September 28, 2023 — VERGE Capital, a leading impact investment fund committed to fostering local economies and communities, proudly announced the launch of its highly anticipated Breakthrough Fund II with a $1.75 million initial investment. This Fund marks a pivotal step towards empowering the vibrant communities of Southwestern Ontario and driving sustainable growth through strategic partnerships and impact investments.

The Breakthrough Fund II is the third place-based impact investment fund introduced by VERGE to demonstrate the organization’s unwavering dedication to catalyzing positive change in Southwestern Ontario. The focus of the Fund is to help nurture local social entrepreneurs, create job opportunities, and foster local community development in order to have a lasting social, environmental, and economic impact.

Breakthrough Fund II aims to raise $10 million to provide lending capital to local enterprises, projects, and organizations tackling the region’s most pressing challenges, focusing on local impact, affordable housing initiatives, equity and inclusion, climate action, and systems change in the region.

The fund is dedicated to collaborating with and supporting equity-deserving and underrepresented communities.

The lead investors are St. Joseph’s Health Care London (St. Joseph’s) and Canadian Alternative Investment Foundation (CAIF) through Pillar Nonprofit Network. St. Joseph’s is a leading health care organization in Canada with a long history of supporting and fostering a healthy community in London and across the region. An important focus of the organization is forging partnerships that address disparities and break down barriers to enhance the economic and social health and well-being of our community. CAIF, a trailblazer in developing Canada’s social finance ecosystem, was founded by 40 faith-based organizations across Canada and for more than 30 years, they operated an impact fund. Among other investors, MakeWay stands as a significant contributor, respected for its leadership in philanthropy and support of transformative initiatives at the crossroads of social, economic, cultural, and ecological well-being. With the initial investment from these social impact-driven investors who share the fund’s vision for a stronger, more resilient Southwestern Ontario, VERGE Breakthrough Fund II is ready to begin investing in Southwestern Ontario.

The Fund is still raising capital to meet its fund size target. For more information on VERGE Capital’s Breakthrough Fund II, please visit: https://vergecapital.ca/breakthrough-fund-2.

Quick Facts

  • VERGE Capital has invested in 48 enterprises, organizations, and projects in Southwestern Ontario since 2016
  • VERGE Capital has invested $3.4 million in Southwestern Ontario
  • Five investors have invested $1.75 million in the first close of Breakthrough Fund II. VERGE Capital is aiming to increase its pool of impact investing capital to $10 million by 2024.
  • VERGE Breakthrough Fund II aims to invest in 26 enterprises, projects, and organizations in the region.

Quotes

“As Pillar and SVX join forces in this exciting venture with VERGE Breakthrough Fund II, we are excited to once again co-champion this mission of catalyzing positive change in Southwestern Ontario. Our deep-rooted belief in the transformative potential of impact investing commits us to create enduring social and environmental impact. This partnership underscores our steadfast dedication to empower local communities, address critical challenges, and advance equity and sustainability principles.” — Adam Spence, CEO, SVX Canada

“We are pleased to once again be providing local investors an opportunity to add local, impactful investments to their portfolio. VERGE Breakthrough Funds make it possible for investors to see their money at work, through our loans to social enterprises and affordable housing initiatives across our region.” — Maureen Cassidy, CEO, Pillar Nonprofit Network

“St. Joseph’s Health Care London is excited by this collaboration with VERGE and like-minded investors and changemakers. Enhancing the economic and social health and well-being of our community is a priority for St. Joseph’s and social impact investing brings this commitment to a new level. We are pleased to become the first hospital in Southwestern Ontario to take this important step, which aligns with our values and our calling to find, develop and implement solutions to the most pressing challenges facing our community in partnership with others.” — Lori Higgs, Vice President Clinical Support and Chief Financial Officer, St. Joseph’s Health Care London

“As an organization committed to increasing the positive impacts of our investment portfolio, MakeWay is excited to be part of VERGE Breakthrough Fund II. We’re investing in this fund because we believe that place-based action can lead to positive community change on critical issues such as affordable housing and climate action.” – Joanna Kerr, CEO, MakeWay

Contacts

To participate in this opportunity, please reach out:

Filsan Farah

Program Lead VERGE Capital | Pillar Nonprofit Network

T: 519–433–7876 ext. 228 | E: ffarah@pillarnonprofit.ca

c/o Innovation Works, 201 King Street (2nd Floor), London, ON N6A 1C9

Yetunde Osanyin

Fund Manager | SVX

T: 343–576–0745 | E: yetunde.osanyin@svx.ca

Maureen Cassidy

Chief Executive Officer | Pillar Nonprofit Network

T: 519–433–7876 ext. 201 | E: mcassidy@pillarnonprofit.ca

For media inquiries please contact:

Helen Zhou

Manager, Education & Technology I SVX

E: helen.zhou@svx.ca

Adam Spence

Chief Executive Officer I SVX

T: 647–242–4644 | E: adam.spence@svx.ca

About

VERGE Capital

VERGE Capital is a pioneering place-based impact investment fund that supports the local communities and economies across Southwestern Ontario by investing in social enterprises that put people and planet first. VERGE Capital leverages strategic and innovative investments to create lasting social and economic impact in Southwestern Ontario.

About Pillar Nonprofit Network

Pillar Nonprofit Network strengthens individuals, organizations and enterprises invested in positive community impact. We support nonprofits, social enterprises and social innovators by sharing resources, exchanging knowledge and creating meaningful connections across the three pillars of nonprofit, business and government. We believe that a connected network sparks collaboration and a willingness to lean on each other to help build an engaged, inclusive and vibrant community.

Our mission is to strengthen individuals, organizations and enterprises that are invested in positive community impact. Our vision is an engaged, inclusive and vibrant community.

How we deliver on our mission:

  • Increasing awareness of nonprofits and social enterprises as social and economic drivers
  • Supporting community sector organizations including nonprofits and social enterprises to develop an inclusive workplace
  • Facilitating collaboration through a network approach that connects nonprofit organizations to each other and business and government
  • Finding new ways, programs and services to address our community’s most persistent challenges

SVX

SVX is a nonprofit, diversified financial services firm driving impact for investors, organizations, funds, and enterprises. We provide knowledge and insights, design strategies and products, manage funds, operate a platform for raising impact capital and making impact investments, and support systems change initiatives. We work across sectors that deliver meaningful impact: climate, food, equity, housing, and community real estate, helping investors find and make impact investments and issuers raise impact capital.

We work with issuers from place-based impact investing funds to community power co-operatives producing renewable energy to charitable organizations tackling mental health and addictions. We work with all investors, from foundations and family offices to everyday investors, to help them identify opportunities and to support their decision-making efforts so they can match their money with meaning.

SVX is regulated by the Ontario Securities Commission and is registered as an Exempt Market Dealer (EMD) in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Québec. We have partners and operations across Canada, as well as in the US, Mexico, and Colombia. Since 2013, SVX has worked with over 500 funds, enterprises and organizations, clients have mobilized over $350 million in capital, and we maintain a network of over 1,200 impact investors.

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SVX

SVX is a financial services firm & impact investing platform connecting ventures, funds, and investors to catalyze investment capital for impact. #ImpInv#SocEnt