Water Health International (WHI) brings safe, clean drinking water to low-income communities in South and Southeast Asia, as well as West Africa, through its network of more than 500 community water centers. WHI’s cost-effective purification technology enables it to sell water to customers for US$0.01 per liter. WHI is also educating rural communities on the importance of safe drinking water through its “Dr. Water” brand and marketing.

Acumen Fund’s initial investment of US$600,000 in 2004 helped WHI launch its first community water system in India. To date, Acumen has invested a total of US$4.29 million, enabling WHI to refine its operations and scale dramatically across Asia and Africa. White & Case has assisted with the review and closing of note purchases.

WHI currently serves more than five million people and has become a model for other social enterprises providing clean water throughout the developing world.


Orb Energy provides affordable and renewable energy for off-grid households in India through solar home systems. Orb reaches low-income customers through its strong retail distribution network and has partnered with local banks to provide innovative financing that improves affordability by letting customers spread payments over several months, typically at a cost of about US$4 per month.

Acumen Fund invested US$1.14 million of equity in 2011 to help Orb reach more rural customers, scale its manufacturing and develop innovative products and financing mechanisms to meet the needs of its low-income customers. White & Case lawyers in London helped prepare stock purchase agreements and the shareholder agreement with Orb Energy.

Orb presently operates a network of 120 retail branches in southern India and has installed 30,000 systems to date, with plans to reach 385,000 low-income households by 2018.


Juhudi Kilimo is a microfinance institution serving smallholder farmers in Kenya, where many people have no access to financial services to improve the quality of their farms. Juhudi’s loans and technical support help farmers acquire assets that boost their productivity.

Acumen Fund invested US$1.25 million of equity in Juhudi in April 2011. White & Case assisted with the loan and investor rights agreement.

Juhudi has expanded its client base from 7,300 borrowers in March 2010 to more than 10,000 borrowers, with plans to serve more than 25,000 farmers by the end of 2015. Juhudi and Acumen are also partnering to develop an innovative mobile phone social-metric data collection tool in collaboration with m-Swali and Grassroots Business Fund, supported by a grant from the Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs. The tool will help Acumen and others measure economic and social impacts more accurately.


In 2005, a group of young professionals in Mumbai founded Ziqitza Healthcare Limited (ZHL), a private ambulance service. Mumbai had almost no ambulances at the time.

Acumen Fund invested US$1.6 million of equity in ZHL in 2007 and has since invested an additional US$1.1 million of equity and debt. White & Case assisted with the transaction documentation.

ZHL has grown significantly and now operates more than 770 ambulances in six states across India through state-of-the-art 24/7 call centers. ZHL has answered nearly 850,000 calls, more than one call per minute. Fees vary with the customer’s ability to pay.

By 2012, ZHL plans to have 1,000 ambulances serving millions of people. ZHL has done what many thought impossible—create a sustainable model for delivering world-class emergency healthcare in India.