Innovative Financial Intermediaries Program (IFIP)
In recent years, OPIC has experienced increased demand for financing from managers of investment vehicles that, due to their smaller size and/or specialist strategies, were often unsuccessful in OPIC’s mainstream calls for fund proposals. Similarly, because these strategies were structured as pooled investment vehicles, they were ineligible for the direct lending product offered by the Agency’s Small and Medium Enterprise Finance department.
To respond to this demand, OPIC launched the Innovative Financial Intermediaries Program (IFIP) in November 2013. IFIP supports smaller-scale financial intermediaries/vehicles investing in enterprises in OPIC-eligible countries, with a specific focus on innovation and developmental impact. IFIP has enabled OPIC to develop a new process to consider these unique, smaller structures and respond more effectively to them while leveraging the expertise and best practices within the Agency’s finance and investment funds departments.
IFIP welcomes applications targeting investment strategies in any of the emerging market countries where OPIC operates. In particular, OPIC encourages applications from fund managers for investment funds targeting growth, infrastructure and SMEs in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.
As with all OPIC projects, investments made through this program will be required to comply with OPIC's U.S. investment eligibility requirements, as well as its environmental, social, worker rights, and U.S. effects standards and criteria.
The chart below provides key information on eligible structures for IFIP; however, OPIC strongly recommends that potential applicants use the IFIP Eligibility Self-Screener to determine if their proposed vehicle meets the minimum requirements for application to IFIP.
Maximum Fund Capitalization*
|Small Equity Funds||$100M||Up to 1/3 of total fund capitalization; capped at $33.3M||Funds that make equity and equity-like investments, including mezzanine and subordinated debt, into portfolio companies.|
|Hybrid Funds and Debt Funds||$100M||Up to 2/3 of total fund capitalization**; capped at $50M||Includes, inter alia, funds that make investments into portfolio companies in the form of: both debt and equity; solely senior debt; or both senior and subordinated debt.|
|Non-Bank Financial Institutions and Intermediaries||No Limit||Up to 1/3 of total fund capitalization (equity-focused NBFIs) and up to 2/3 (debt-focused NBFIs); capped at $50M||Non-Bank Financial Institutions and Intermediaries deploying 25% or more of their capital as equity investments into portfolio companies.|
|Hybrid Microfinance Investment Vehicles (MIVs)||No Limit||Up to 2/3 of total fund capitalization**; capped at $50M||MIVs investing 25% or more of their total portfolio as equity.|
* Including OPIC's participation
** The level of financing that OPIC will consider is largely commensurate with the risk of the investment strategy of the fund, in terms of forms of capital the fund will deploy and the target portfolio composition. Generally, the higher end of the range will be considered for funds investing a higher level of debt than equity.
Applications submitted through the IFIP application website will be evaluated on a range of criteria, including the criteria listed below. Please consult the document Key Elements of a Pitch Book for IFIP for more information.
Clarity of Investment Objectives
Pipeline of Opportunities
Years of Relevant Experience
Years Working Together
Relationships & Resources
Fund Manager & Investment Team Deal History
Capital Commitments to Date
Demonstrable Funding Pipeline
Previous Fundraising Track Record
Fundraising Strategy/Ability to meet OPIC U.S. Connection requirement (if applicable)
Conflicts of Interest
IFIP Application Process
The IFIP application process involves submission of a questionnaire (OPIC Form 256 - Investment Funds Questionnaire) and supporting documentation, including a pitch book, investment/transaction pipeline, and (if available) Private Placement Memorandum (PPM). OPIC accepts proposals on an ongoing basis and reviews them quarterly with the assistance of an external investment advisor.
OPIC is now accepting applications for the current quarter: February 1, 2019 - April 30, 2019.
OPIC encourages applicants to submit their proposals throughout the quarter and to avoid waiting until the deadline (11:59pm EST on the final day of the quarter).
To begin the application process, please create an account and complete and submit the OPIC Form 256 along with the required supporting materials. Some additional resources to consider when preparing application to IFIP:
- IFIP Eligibility Screener
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Key Elements of a Pitch Book for IFIP
- U.S. Connection Requirements for OPIC-Supported Projects
If, after reviewing these resources, you have any questions regarding the Innovative Financial Intermediaries Program, please contact the IFIP Program Manager at IFIP@opic.gov.
To apply to the Innovative Financial Intermediaries Program, please visit the IFIP application portal and create an account.