Our mission is to fuel the economic resilience and vibrancy of low income communities. By spending considerable time with our customer segment, we develop a deep understanding of their aspirations, priorities, cash flows and challenges. Combined with uncompromising analysis, we translate this 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 essential products and services for over 40 million households and catalyzed billions of dollars of capital in 41 companies.
Elevar, in Spanish, means to raise / elevate / lift up. We back business models that are out to turbocharge the lives of low income households in emerging markets and democratize access to essential products and services. So we feel that the word Elevar is an apt descriptor of our journey.
We are an emerging markets team investing in multiple emerging markets. Our niche is early growth capital and a commercial approach to impact investing. Our investments intend to solve issues of inequity for marginalized and underserved customers (read about how we define our LAhWSTM customer segment here) and achieve benchmark market performance. In this context, we focus on real affordability and value creation for our customers, organizational design and optimal investment terms for our entrepreneurs, and benchmarked performance for our investors. A human centered approach to human centered capital.
We maintain a razor sharp focus on low income communities – which means our expertise does not lie in sectors but in understanding the priorities, aspirations, cash flows and challenges of low income communities. We don’t just visit the field, but we immerse ourselves in the lives of our customers. Insights gathered from them inform our thesis, strategy, decision making and conversations with entrepreneurs.
For Elevar to make an investment, impact needs to be at the core of the business model – part of the DNA of the company from the beginning, measurable by thoughtful business metrics, and allowing the entrepreneur to focus on what is important to scale their business. As a corollary, we don’t believe that impact is a side metric to measure in a 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. This may be a fundamental differentiator of Elevar, as an investor and impact investor. For more on our e.MTM framework click here.
Great question. We are probably one of the few investment firms who view the customer of our portfolio companies as our customer. Seeing the end customer as our own adds critical dimensions to our way of working – we’re 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 is influenced by ground realities; and we experience a deep sense of purpose and urgency in our day to day work. Years of following the customer has strengthened our passion and admiration for them. Check our article about this here. We would also recommend the Samunnati, LEAD or Nuvemshop e.M case studies.
These are among the regions where the greatest number of marginalized communities live and the widest gaps in essential services exist. We believe there is abundant investment potential for businesses that serve low to middle income communities, and therefore for entrepreneurship to have the greatest impact. These are the markets where our investing teams have grown up. And, since we invest in essential products and services, there are similarities in the needs of customers across markets like India and Latin America.
We believe that entrepreneurship and capital are a transformative combination when directed responsibly towards marginalized, low income communities, and the problems of access and inequity.
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.
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 that 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 the world of capital, and with people and organizations who share our passion to work with businesses that focus on mass markets and low income communities. If you feel that we should partner, please reach out to us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Referrals from people we know and trust are the best way, but that should not stop you from emailing us on email@example.com. 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 check out some of our e.M case studies in the Elevar Scribbles section, to get a flavor of what we view as a great business.
For open positions with Elevar and our portfolio companies, you can check our Opportunities page. In case you don’t find anything that suits you, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, telling us how you think you can be part of the Elevar story. We are always looking for wonderful people who have a passion to improve the lives of low income communities.
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 email@example.com and let’s start a conversation.