Capital commitment to support businesses serving low-income households in Brazil
JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Omidyar Network have announced a $10 million combined investment in FIRST, a private equity fund focused on serving the needs of low-income and underserved populations in Brazil. The fund will make investments in high-growth companies in sectors providing essential products and services to low-income households, such as education, healthcare, housing and financial services.
“This investment reinforces Brazil as a JPMorgan Chase focal point, regionally and globally,” said Jose Berenguer, Senior Country Officer for Brazil, JPMorgan Chase. “Investing in businesses such as FIRST is the best way to contribute to Brazil’s development and improve income distribution in our country.” The fund, which has now raised $66 million, brings together several leading global investors including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), German development finance institution DEG and French development finance institution PROPARCO to accelerate the growth of impact investments in Brazil, which seek to generate financial returns while making a positive social and environmental impact.
“The firm is proud to support FIRST. Investing in a fund that will support businesses providing underserved Brazilians with access to the high quality products and services they need will enable the growth of the entire Brazilian economy,” said Amy Bell, Head of Social Finance Principal Investments, JPMorgan Chase, which has committed $63 million of its own capital to the impact investment market since 2009. “JPMorgan is excited to collaborate with the Omidyar Network to catalyze these critical, new investments by FIRST.”
Brazil, the world’s seventh largest economy, represents a compelling market opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to deliver healthcare, education, housing and financial products and services to the country’s working poor.
“Omidyar Network is pleased to support FIRST. It serves as a cornerstone of the growing impact investing industry in Brazil and brings with it seasoned venture capital expertise with a proven track record,” said Eliza Erikson, Director, Investments at Omidyar Network. “We are especially proud to be partnering with JPMorgan Chase Social Finance, an investor with which we share strong alignment and equal commitment to providing affordable, quality goods and services to the 40 million consumers in the emerging Brazilian middle class.”