(MIF) December 13, 2011 – The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) approved a $4 million equity investment in C-Ventures Primus, a Brazilian seed capital fund that will invest in emerging firms located in the states of Santa Catarina, Paraná, and Rio Grande do Sul in sectors ranging from energy and life sciences to digital media and information and communication technologies.
The MIF, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, also approved a $1 million technical cooperation with Associação Brasileira de Private Equity e Venture Capital (ABVCAP), a Brazilian nonprofit organization, to support the development of the venture capital ecosystem in Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America.
C-Ventures Primus will use MIF resources to invest in promising start-ups or new firms that require equity financing and strategic guidance to unlock their growth potential. The firms will operate in a region that is rapidly building research and technology innovation capacity, thanks to a dynamic network of universities, research centers and business incubators.
“With the support of the MIF and other partners, C-Ventures will contribute to the growth and commercial success of dynamic firms that will bring innovation, generate employment, and help build a knowledge-based economy in the southern region of Brazil,” said Susana García-Robles, the project team leader at the MIF.
The fund was carefully selected from a group of funds proposed under INOVAR II, a program supported by the MIF and FINEP, the Brazilian Government Innovation Agency, to promote investments in early stage firms and develop fund management capacity in Brazil.
C-Ventures Primus will be managed by Companhia de Participações (CRP), a pioneer management firm with more than 30 years of experience in venture capital. CRP has established a partnership with C-Ventures S.A., a fund management firm from Santa Catarina, and Idee Tecnologia, an investment firm with a focus on technology. The management team will be led by seasoned investment professionals from the region: José Eduardo Azevedo Fiates, Felipe Marcondes de Mattos, Erich Muschellack, and Gabriela de Salles van der Linden.
The fund plans to raise $46 million to invest in up to 16 firms developing products and services in the following sectors: energy, including renewable energy and energy efficiency; life sciences, including bioengineering, biotechnology and medicine; digital media; and information and communications technologies.
The technical assistance provided by the MIF will finance a new program implemented by ABVCAP to develop research and data collection capabilities; expand training and networking opportunities; address regulatory bottlenecks; and strengthen local catalytic institutions.
“The program will also tap Brazil’s experience as host of the region’s largest venture capital sector to advance the sector’s development in other Latin American countries,” said the MIF’s García-Robles. “It will foster cross-country relationships among venture capital associations and similar institutions, and will promote the sharing of knowledge in countries such as Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico.”
Through this program, the MIF will contribute to improving the venture capital ecosystems in Brazil and other Latin American countries, effectively strengthening local institutions that represent the interests of the industry; developing professional standards; providing industry research; and enabling interactions between key industry participants including institutional investors, entrepreneurs, policymakers and academics.
The Multilateral Investment Fund plays a leading role in the development of conducive ecosystems to finance entrepreneurship, and is an active investor in seed and venture capital funds in Latin America and the Caribbean.