THE SITAWI Collective Lending Platform, which this year held an exclusive roundtable for Amazonian businesses from the PPA's Acceleration and Impact Investment Program portfolio, was recognized as Impact Initiative of the Year from Latin America and the Caribbean for the Environmental Finance Impact Awards 2020.
This is the first edition of the award that seeks to recognize and reward the work of impact investors globally, highlighting best practices and thought leadership across all asset classes around the world. The winners were chosen by a panel of 12 judges, made up of impact investors from around the world.
THE Amazon Round, promoted in March this year, was held in the context of the Partners for the Amazon Platform, with USAID (United States Agency for International Development), CIAT (International Center for Tropical Agriculture), the Humanize Institute and as strategic partners. , as an execution partner Idesam (Institute for Conservation and Sustainable Development of the Amazon).
Focused on five businesses in the PPA Acceleration Program portfolio in 2020 (COEX Carajas, In the Forest/Na'kau, ok juice, Engineering Practice and tucum), the Round mobilized the necessary resources within 24 hours.
New Round was held in early September by SITAWI, focused on two businesses: Manaós Tech, which is part of the PPA Acceleration Program portfolio, and the Eu Visto o Bem Movement. In less than two hours, 98 investors made 136 investment reserves, bringing a total of R$ 800,000 to the two organizations. Manaós Tech, a technological education school for children and adolescents, intends, with the resource, to expand its operations to the outskirts of Manaus.
“It is the first time that Manaós Tech has gone after capital, and it was a success. We managed to collect in record time and this is confirmation that we are on the right path. This resource will help us expand to the outskirts of Manaus, because even with a scholarship, students often cannot travel to school, so we want to be close to them. And we are also going to develop a more hybrid platform, offering remote learning, so that we can also start moving towards the interior,” says Glauco Aguiar, one of the founders of startup.
The Collective Lending Platform was launched in June 2019 and is an initiative of SITAWI, in a strategic partnership with the Sabin Institute, to enable investors, especially individuals, to lend money directly and digitally for the success and growth of organizations with a mission to generate a positive social and environmental impact. On the one hand, investors obtain competitive returns. On the other hand, businesses have access to a credit line with lower interest rates than those practiced in the market. The model is known as Peer-to-Peer lending.
Since its launch, the Platform has carried out three rounds of investments, which have contributed to mobilizing R$ 5.6 million for 12 businesses with a positive socio-environmental impact, with the participation of 273 investors. “In 15 months of platform we have seen a growing demand from the small investor for this type of investment. Our expectation is to carry out more rounds and leverage the number of impact institutions served and the volume of funding. For next year, we anticipate a growth of up to 3 times in the volume mobilized in 2020”, says Andrea Resende, Impact Investing Manager at SITAWI.
The Althelia Biodiversity Fund, a member of the PPA, was also contemplated by the award, in the category Fund of the Year-Multiactive. Launched in 2019, Althelia Biodiversity Fund Brazil (ABF) is a private commercial impact investment fund managed by Mirova Natural Capital, under the brand name Althelia Funds, and managed by the Brazilian manager Vox Capital.
It seeks to overcome financial challenges faced by startups in the Amazon, offering long-term capital and financing sustainable businesses with a positive and transformative impact on biodiversity and communities in the region. Letters of intent from the ABF were delivered to startups that were or are being accelerated in the PPA Acceleration Program.
“The Amazon Round promoted by SITAWI involving businesses from the PPA Acceleration Program portfolio brings innovation in investment mechanisms, which we have been pursuing since the beginning. We aim to combine customized options adapted to different types of business, bringing together a variety of sources (private and philanthropic capital) according to the different stages and needs of the projects. SITAWI is a pioneer in impact investing in Brazil and the ABF Fund has been significantly expanding its operations in the Amazon. The awards are more than deserved and we are very proud to have them as partners in the Acceleration Program”, assesses Mariano Cenamo, new business manager at Idesam and coordinator of the Acceleration Program at PPA.