Today, rapid population growth, climate change, and a widening rural-urban economic divide are driving the largest wave of urban growth in the history of humankind. While cities are at the core of economic development and promise new opportunities, the velocity and scale of urban migration threaten to strain scarce resources. In emerging markets, existing economic and social institutions will be unable to absorb the growing population. The unmet demand and the growing needs of vulnerable urban populations presents an opportunity for inclusive and environmentally minded businesses to generate returns and create impact.
Building on our team’s experiences living and working across geographies and sectors, we seek investments in sustainable business models that more efficiently deliver key products or services and improve quality of life for individuals in emerging markets. This means increasing affordability, accessibility, and usage of life-changing products and services addresses the challenges of urbanization. We do this while mitigating risks to emerging market consumers and businesses.
Our investees share the following characteristics:
- Management team: Passionate entrepreneurs who leverage deep local market expertise to create and share value in emerging markets
- Impact: Strong commitment to achieve a clear and measurable impact, consistent with our values
- Profitable growth and financial returns: Aspiration to realize market-rate returns through a high potential to scale
- Stage: Working prototypes, preferably post-revenue, even though we consider companies with clear plans for revenue within the next 12-18 months
And meet the following criteria:
- Investee size: The company should be raising a ~$250,000 to ~$750,000 ($1,000,000 max) seed round, in which MIINT funding ($25K – $50K investment from a third party) is a material contribution to the round
- Type of capital: Convertible debt (preferred), equity, or debt, but we will consider other structures used by the lead investor
- Timing: Companies should be open to an investment between April and July 2017, with preference for April/May
Think your company fits our criteria? Tell us more via our contact form!
Each of our five team members has experience living or working in high-growth mega-city settings. From Hanoi to Accra to Rio, we have each experienced both the chaos and opportunity that fills the bustling streets of an urbanizing mega-city. Collectively, our team speaks six languages and has lived in more than ten countries. Our global reach will help us to source a high-impact enterprise and understand the political and business landscape in which it operates.
In addition to our global perspective, our team has experience working to solve issues related to urbanization in emerging markets. Before studying international business, our team members assessed affordable housing opportunities, advised social impact driven technology start- ups, audited microfinance institutions, and performed water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) evaluations. Thanks to these experiences, we understand the complex challenges that must be solved in order to unlock the potential economic, social, and environmental benefits of successful urbanization.