OPIC Approves $5 Million to Support Unreasonable Capital Fund Investing in Emerging Markets
December 19, 2016
WASHINGTON – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s Development Finance Institution, today announced the financing of up to $5 million to support Unreasonable Capital Fund I. Unreasonable Capital is a venture capital firm that invests in scalable and profitable companies working to address social and environmental issues that improve the lives of people living in underserved communities across Latin America, India, Asia, and Africa.
“OPIC is delighted to support Unreasonable Capital as the fund invests across several regions and in a variety of sectors, from energy access to financial technology, that will have a positive development impact,” said Elizabeth L. Littlefield, OPIC’s President and CEO. “Unreasonable Capital’s approach of investing in early stage companies and providing operating support will have a long-lasting impact on the underserved communities in those regions. OPIC is committed to helping the private sector enter into emerging markets and pursue opportunities in some of the world’s largest and fastest growing economies that are often overlooked by private investors.”
“Unreasonable Capital is committed to supporting the greatest entrepreneurs of our time, those who are addressing the underpinnings of endemic poverty with profitable businesses. These companies provide the needed products and services that will facilitate large populations of people to rise into the global middle class,” said Ashok Reddy, Co-founder and Partner with Unreasonable Capital. “We are honored to work with OPIC, which has an established a track record of successfully investing into developing markets.”
Unreasonable Capital makes investments and provides operating support to early-stage companies that connect bottom-of-the-pyramid, underserved populations to products and services that improve their lives. Such investments provide low income communities with opportunities for economic growth and stability to which they would otherwise not have access, allowing Unreasonable Capital to provide a measurable benefit to these markets.
The fund will focus on energy access, financial technology, and mobile phone innovations in agriculture and artisan-driven fashion, connecting small, local goods to global markets. Unreasonable Capital works closely with Unreasonable Group, a global network of business accelerator programs that provides mentorship to early-stage entrepreneurs solving society’s toughest social and environmental challenges.
OPIC’s support to Unreasonable Capital is through the institution’s Innovative Financial Intermediaries Program (IFIP), a program launched to support smaller-scale financial intermediaries and vehicles investing with a specific focus on impact and innovation. Unreasonable Capital’s proposal was submitted to OPIC’s IFIP review committee as part of a competitive, open process. Investment funds or vehicles interested in working with OPIC through IFIP should visit www.opic.gov.
OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help address critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds, when commercial funding cannot be obtained elsewhere. Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers.
All OPIC projects adhere to high environmental and social standards and respect human rights, including worker's rights. By mandating high standards, OPIC aims to raise the industry and regional standards of the countries where it funds projects. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 160 countries worldwide.
About Unreasonable Capital:
Unreasonable Capital is an early-stage investment fund supporting entrepreneurs in developing markets who are creating solutions for the world’s largest opportunities, in energy access, financial technology, and mobile phone innovations in agriculture and artisan-driven fashion that connect small, local goods to global markets. Through investment capital, as well as operating support, the Fund empowers local entrepreneurs to build companies that will facilitate a rapidly growing global middle class, which is projected to increase from two billion people in 2010 to over five billion people in 2030. Unreasonable Capital works closely with Unreasonable Group, a global network of business accelerator programs that provides mentorship to early-stage entrepreneurs solving society’s toughest social and environmental challenges.