Geneva, 29 July 2019 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Orange and SAP announced today the twelve Post-Series A finalists, selected through the first Growth Stage Impact Ventures (GSIV) for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initiative. The finalists work on reducing inequality through improving access to health; energy and climate data; and financial services.

Following the GSIV call for nominations this spring, 76 third-parties, including accelerators, foundations, impact funds and international orgnaizations, submitted 119 proposals from 40 developing countries. 

Eighty-five percent of the nominated ventures had raised at least half a million dollars at the time of nomination, and closed their Series A. In some cases, ventures were well beyond, even approaching Series C. The 12 finalists are all mid-sized, with an average of up to 50 employees, annual revenue of over US$3 million, and with a cumulative impact on more than 15 million lives through their products and services.

The GSIV initiative aims at sourcing mature and innovative products and services contributing to the SDGs in developing countries. It is a collaboration between the UNDP Office in Geneva, EPFL Tech4Impact, Orange and SAP Next Gen.

The finalists are:

Health

  • Ayzh (India, Kenya)
  • Naya Jeevan (Pakistan)
  • TotoHealth (Kenya) 
  • Vezeeta (Egypt, UAE)

Energy & Climate Change

  • Frontier Markets (India) 
  • Ignitia AB (Ghana, Nigeria) 
  • Sistema.bio (Mexico) 
  • Three Wheels United (India)

Financial Services

  • Amartha (Indonesia) 
  • CrediMantri (India) 
  • Kaah Islamic Microfinance Services, KIMS (Somalia) 
  • Tienda Pago (Peru, Mexico)

Full profiles are available here.

“Through our partnership with EPFL, SAP and Orange, and with the support from a myriad of actors from the private sector, the UN and the broader development community, we were able to identify top entrepreneurs with solid business models and impact track records from across the developing world. They show there is a business case for the SDGs, even in the most difficult contexts such as Somalia”, noted Maria Luisa Silva, Director of the UNDP Office in Geneva.

“We are delighted to support UNDP in its focus on Post-Series A impact ventures that address the SDGs. Contrary to the multitude of awards and competitions targeted at early stage start-ups, the companies invited to the GSIV have the potential to bring about rapid and positive change at scale, targeting in particular the bottom of the pyramid”, said Julia Binder, Project Leader of EPFL Tech4Impact.

Each venture will be invited to attend a one-day preparatory workshop at EPFL and to participate in the SDG Finance Geneva Summit, where they will have the opportunity to pitch to potential partners including investors, large corporates and international organizations.

A US$5,000.-- cash prize, the Jason J. Spindler “Big Data for Impact” Award, will also be announced at the invitation-only event in Geneva.

 “As a corporate venture capital investor, it has been very exciting to be part of this selection process that puts the spotlight on performing ventures which deliver social and environmental impact across their countries. The quality of the applications reviewed is a great sign of hope with regard to this new generation of entrepreneurs”, added Gregoire de Padirac, Investment Manager, Orange Digital Ventures.

"The GSIV selection builds on elements we believe in to catalyze achieving the SDGs: fostering ‘innovation with purpose’ through partnerships connecting growth-oriented ventures with purpose-driven corporates, institutions, NGOs and academia”, commented Ann Rosenberg, Senior Vice President and Global Head of SAP Next-Gen. “By working together, we can inspire ventures to embed purpose into their innovation methodologies, and to use technology to accelerate and scale impact for disruptive solutions that reimagine a sustainable future.”

The GSIV selection takes place within the framework of the SDG Finance Geneva Summit, previously known as the Social Good Summit (SGS) Geneva, which will take place on Wednesday 9 October 2019.

The broader objective of the SGS Geneva is to promote SDGs compatible finance, showcasing emerging market examples of businesses that do well by doing good. By bringing together the unique ecosystem of development professionals, investors, development finance institutions, academia and entrepreneurs, UNDP aims to catalyze a shift of capital from mainstream finance to impact investing with a focus on addressing the SDGs.

 

For additional information, please visit https://www.sgsgeneva.org or contact:

Ms. Sarah Bel, Communications Specialist

 
This press release was prepared by UNDP Geneva for original publication on SGS Geneva.

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