Private equity investments utilize innovative capital strategies

July 01, 2024
Photo of group in boardroom

U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance closes private equity deals to address the wealth gap

The Impact Capital team within U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance is celebrating a private equity investment with o15 Capital Partners. It's one of three deals recently closed that signal the U.S. Bank subsidiary’s continued commitment to addressing the wealth gap using innovative capital strategies.

“o15 is an example of the type of private equity investment choices we’re making to support enterprise strategies such as U.S. Bank Access Commitment®,” said Laura Skiles, Impact Finance director of impact for Community Finance Solutions.

o15 Capital Partners is a minority-owned investment firm with a mission to provide growth capital to underrepresented entrepreneurs and communities. Impact Finance made a $6.25MM equity investment in o15’s first fund – Emerging America Credit Opportunities Fund LP I, which launched in 2023. The fund is expecting strong demand from investors that are aligned with their strategy and impact focus.

“We are thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with Impact Finance and intend for our relationship to be meaningful,” said Kenneth Saffold, o15 managing partner. “The EACO I Fund will provide debt and equity capital to historically undercapitalized and underserved lower-middle market businesses in healthcare, education and business services.”

Additionally, Impact Finance recently invested in Empower the Change and SDS Supportive Housing Fund to encapsulate a complex portfolio with a diversity of impact strategies and outcomes.

“Both Empower the Change and o15 represent emerging, diverse funds that have a dedicated commitment to impact for minority businesses and communities,” said Skyler Wilson, Impact Finance relationship manager. “SDS Supportive Housing Fund utilizes a community and housing model in high-need Los Angeles that creates pathways to housing for formerly homeless populations. New relationships like these increase the flow of capital to diverse investment managers and builds on our commitment to invest in private equity funds focused on wealth-generating impacts in communities of color.”

Skiles added, “Housing, small business growth and job creation are pathways to building wealth for diverse communities. These deals are a strong representation of how we can invest with partners to help make a difference.”

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