Our mission is to fuel the economic resilience and vibrancy of underserved customers and households, and the communities they live in. Having spent a significant time with our customer segment, we have a deep understanding of their aspirations, priorities, and challenges, as well as their incomes, spends, and borrowings. Combined with an uncompromising analysis, we translate this understanding into concrete investment insights that are the basis of our investing in “deep in the weeds”, solution-oriented entrepreneurs. We call this human centered capital.
Elevar’s investments have democratized access to products and services that are essential for household growth. Our companies have reached over 50 million households and catalyzed billions of dollars of capital in ~50 companies.
Elevar, in Spanish, means to raise / elevate / lift up. We back business models that are out to turbocharge the lives of underserved customers in emerging markets and democratize access to products and services that are core to these customers. So we feel that the word Elevar is an apt descriptor of our journey.
The term ‘Elevar’ or ‘Elevar Equity’ is used and referred to in the website generally for ease of reference and does not refer to any one entity or organization. In accordance with industry custom, this website occasionally uses terminology that may be interpreted to suggest that Elevar is actually a single entity. However, there is no such single entity and all of the entities that comprise our firm have their own separate legal existence. Accordingly, the team members, investee companies, advisory entities and addresses mentioned on this site could be part of or relate to different and independent entities having their own separate legal existence. Elevar Funds include certain funds/entities in different jurisdictions and include domestic Alternative Investment Funds in India. In this context, the term ‘you’ or ‘your’ refers to the user or viewer of our website.
We are an emerging markets team investing in the emerging markets. Our niche is early growth equity and a commercial approach to impact investing. Our investments intend to solve issues of inequity for underserved customers and households and achieve benchmark market performance. Underserved customers and households need to be at the core of the business model, part of the DNA of the company from the beginning, measurable by thoughtful metrics, allowing the entrepreneur to focus on what is important to scale their business.
While there are many businesses where there are trade-offs between impact and business performance, we invest in those businesses where they are aligned and correlated, where impact is not a side metric to measure in the business. This is a fundamental differentiator of Elevar, as an investor and impact investor. We focus on real affordability, quality and value creation for our customers, scalable organizational design and optimal investment terms for our entrepreneurs, and benchmarked performance for our investors. A human centered approach to human centered capital.
Elevar is an equity investor that invests early growth capital in businesses that focus on underserved customers and households. Enmasse, on the other hand, has been newly set up to lay the foundations of scale that go well beyond capital – to curate narratives, data and insights for the customers that Elevar will continue to work with.
The Economic Power of Industrious Communities (EPIC) has been coined by Enmasse to showcase how trillions of dollars of core transaction value are being generated by hundreds of millions of entrepreneurial households and the industrious communities they live in. The customer focus of Elevar and Enmasse is the same. The learnings accumulated over a decade at Elevar have been core to articulating the EPIC Opportunity. Click here to learn more about entrepreneurial households, industrious communities and the EPIC Opportunity.
The EPIC Opportunity is an authentic and future-oriented articulation of the potential held by Elevar’s customer segment. This articulation is reflective of the evolution of Elevar’s customer segment. Low income communities have blossomed, and continue to blossom, into entrepreneurial households. They continue to leverage their vibrancy and resilience to fuel their aspirations.
Elevar and Enmasse are part of a network of individuals and organizations with discreet, independent strategies, but with a shared purpose – to expand from tens of millions to hundreds of millions of underserved entrepreneurial households, ultimately reaching over a billion plus people in the next 20 years. Elevar will grow and scale as a capital allocator focused on the EPIC Opportunity, while Enmasse will scale through narratives, data and insights, starting with the EPIC Opportunity in India, and then going global.
We believe that entrepreneurship and capital are a transformative combination when directed responsibly toward problems of access and inequity faced by underserved customers and households. Entrepreneurs best understand entrepreneurial households.
In the context of an enterprise, governance debates (particularly in the developed world) are too often about the primacy of shareholder value or about the multi-stakeholder approach. But at Elevar, we believe that customer centricity needs to be central to the nature of the enterprise, and an uncompromising focus on this can result in all stakeholders benefiting (including employees, who are mostly recruited from within the communities we seek to serve). Some refer to this as customer focused capitalism.
More recently, through Enmasse we decided to go beyond capital – to bring out the vibrancy and potential of the customer segment to the world of capital by curating narratives, data and insights, to focus on the EPIC Opportunity.
We maintain a razor sharp focus on underserved customers and households, which means our expertise does not lie in sectors but in understanding their aspirations, priorities and challenges, as well as their incomes, spends and borrowings. We don’t just visit the field, but we immerse ourselves in the lives of our customers and have a good understanding of the economic power of the communities they live in. Insights gathered from them inform our thesis, strategy, investment decision making and conversations with entrepreneurs.
Elevar was originally founded by Sandeep Farias, Johanna Posada, Maya Chorengel and Chris Brookfield.
For many years now, the firm has been led by Sandeep Farias, Johanna Posada and Jyotsna Krishnan (who joined the firm in 2011). Over the last few years, the leadership of the firm evolved with first Vipul Rawal, and then Amie Patel and Shobha Venkataraman, joining the partnership.
The overall goal to grow an investment firm to invest in transformational and scalable businesses focused on underserved customers in emerging markets has stayed remarkably consistent over the last 15+ years. The average time the current partnership has worked together is close to 12 years, a rare long-standing entrepreneurial partnership when it comes to investing in emerging markets.
Great question. We are probably one of the few investment firms that view the customers of our portfolio companies as our customers. Seeing the end customer as our own adds critical dimensions to our way of working. We are in touch with the beat of the markets our businesses serve. We see patterns, question views with curiosity and develop informed opinions. We provide entrepreneurs with inputs and support that are influenced by ground realities. This approach brings a deep sense of purpose and urgency to our daily work. Years of following underserved customers and households have strengthened our passion and admiration for them. Check our article about this here.
These are among the regions where the greatest number of underserved communities live, and the widest gaps in access exist. We believe there is abundant investment potential for businesses that serve aspirational and underserved communities, and therefore for companies to have the greatest impact. These are the markets where our investing teams have grown up. And, there are meaningful similarities in the needs of customers across emerging markets like India and Latin America.
We are an organization on a mission. That requires a high degree of nimbleness and urgency, which can only be attained by an entrepreneurial team. This means empowerment and ownership for every individual across the organization – all driven by a sense of self-discipline. For all of us who work at Elevar, this means the willingness to step out of one’s comfort zone, to work in an environment with a high degree of ambiguity, to think out of the box and to increase the numbers of “firsts” in Elevar’s journey.
We believe in partnering with people and organizations who share our passion to work with businesses that focus on mass markets. If you feel that we should partner, please reach out to us at email@example.com.
If you are building a business, in India or Latin America, that is focused on underserved customers and households who lack access to products and services that are core to their growth, please get in touch with us. Your customers may be individuals or small businesses.
We are usually the first institutional capital in a company and have often invested in raw start-ups (paper plans) or at the seed stage. We have also invested in growth stage companies from time to time. Irrespective of market trends, for over a decade, we have backed companies and founders, who believe in growth based on positive distribution economics and phygital distribution models (technology-led or enabled, with on ground market intelligence/distribution).
Referrals from people we know and trust are the best way, but that should not stop you from emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We review every investment opportunity because a great idea can come from anywhere. Keep in mind that we are very selective and have only made ~3 investments a year across geographies, on average. Also, please review some of our Elevar Scribbles to get a flavor of what we view as a great business.
For open positions with Elevar and our portfolio companies, please check our Opportunities page. In case you don’t find anything that suits you, drop us a line at email@example.com, telling us how you think you can be part of the Elevar story. We are always looking for wonderful people who have a passion for transforming lives.
Imagine a world in which the transformative power of capital, and the focused determination of committed human beings are brought to bear to transform the lives of marginalized, low income communities?
Now imagine building that world right now – responsibly.
This is what we do at Elevar every day. The entrepreneurs we have backed (and the tens of thousands of people that work with them) are doing this every day.
We would love to hear from you.
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s start a conversation.