On the 29th of June 2018, the board agreed to invest US$100K in Fondo Talento II, the second Colombian fund of ISA pioneer Lumni. It took us until today, the 17th of May 2019, to finalize this process. Investing in a country that has been war-torn for decades due to the international drug trade, proved challenging. But we are happy to announce we can now call the dinosaur amongst the ISA (Income Share Agreement) providers, our partner.
Lumni has been active for over a decade in Latin America providing student financing to underprivileged students. They were the first to apply the ISA model, where students are not applying for a loan, but agree on paying a proportion of their future loan for a certain amount of months upon graduation and landing a job. This way, students will not face the burden of a huge loan while being unemployed or on a low salary.
With the popularization of ISA’s in the USA, new discussions have sparked international media. The Vanderes Foundation is following these closely and recognizes the downsides ISA’s could potentially have on both students that qualify for an ISA as well as those who do not, and therefore depend on public resources. For now, we believe that -especially when it comes to developing countries- the advantages of ISA’s outweigh the potential disadvantages.
Both Lumni and its founder and global CEO Felipe Vergara have been awarded many times for their successes by globally recognized institutions like the World Economic Forum. Lumni is currently active in Peru, Mexico, Chile, Colombia and recently expanded into the USA (focusing on underprivileged students). The Vanderes Foundation invested in the Fondo Talento II in Colombia which backs 450 students.
We are really excited to bring this experienced team on board as one of our partners and connect them to our wider network. We feel they can share a lot of knowledge with our more early-stage partner companies. Lastly, we like to diversify and widen the geographic reach of the foundation.