Johanna is Founder and Managing Partner at Elevar. She leads the firm’s investing strategy and priorities in Latin America, and the firm’s investing team that is based in Mexico City. Her leadership role in Latin America includes sourcing and underwriting of new investment opportunities, portfolio management, partnering with entrepreneurs to achieve scale, while providing active support to the firm’s India investing team. She has played a global role in building the finance and compliance processes at Elevar.
Johanna has over 20 years of work experience that includes emerging markets investing experience, macroeconomics, microfinance and financial services, corporate finance and economics. She founded Elevar in 2008 and has partnered with, and invested in, companies which are today some of the biggest providers of financial services, MSME oriented services and education to disconnected communities in India and Latin America.
Johanna graduated from the ITAM (Mexico City) in Economics and started her career in 1997. She worked as an Economist with the Central Bank of Mexico where she focused on the creation of legal and institutional frameworks to increase the efficiency, transparency and inclusiveness of the Mexican financial sector. Johanna received her MBA from Stanford University in 2002, following which she worked as a Senior Financial Specialist at ExxonMobil’s Exploration Company, supporting the Africa Region and Corporate group. Prior to founding Elevar, she was at Unitus from 2004 to 2008, where she was responsible for sourcing a global pipeline of MFI partnerships and investments, and worked extensively on different financing mechanisms and structures (debt and equity) in India, Mexico and Kenya.
Johanna is deeply passionate about the environment and the sustainable future of our planet, and her dogs who attend online meetings with her diligently at ungodly hours. Her two children are an endless source of joy and chaos. She enjoys reading, cooking and traveling, has a few mean moves on the dance floor, and is often seen having animated conversations on the phone.
Those moments when we take time to see the progress that we have made in over 15 years – seeing the impact and returns we have delivered, and the partnership and the team we have built.
Someone who is smart, passionate, kind and a team player. An Elevarian is driven by a mission to disrupt traditional capital markets to make them more inclusive.
Always and every day. In our work, the misconceptions about the working poor and middle class get cleared out, leaving only our admiration for the customer.
A microfinance entrepreneur once said “We stand on the shoulders of giants” referring to all the effort that the non-profit world invested in creating a sector that attracted a lot of commercial capital later in the journey.