DFC announces Direct Equity Request for Applications

The US International Development Finance Corporation’s (DFC) Office of Equity Investments (OEI) has announced the Direct Equity Request for Applications, which invites early and growth-stage companies, working to solve critical development challenges, to submit an application for direct equity investment.

OEI is DFC’s new group dedicated to generating developmental impact through direct equity investments in emerging markets. As a financial tool, direct equity provides DFC with greater flexibility to invest in early and growth-stage companies, partner with other financial institutions, and enable investees to scale operations more efficiently to create greater development impact.

 
“Equity investments are highly developmental because of their ability to support early stage companies that would otherwise not be able to take on debt, especially companies in low and lower-middle income countries,” says DFC Chief Executive Officer Adam Boehler. “We are reaching further to achieve development impact through our request for applications for new direct equity investments focused on emerging markets.”
 
OEI is accepting applications for projects in all sectors and countries in which the agency is authorised to invest. Special consideration will be given to companies developing innovative financial, education, logistics & supply chain, and/or digital health technologies (in accordance with DFC’s Health and Prosperity Initiative). Special consideration will also be extended to investment opportunities that will advance Prosper Africa and América Crece, and investments in the Indo-Pacific, as well as DFC’s 2X Women Initiative.
 
OEI will review proposals on a rolling-basis and will continue to collect submissions indefinitely. Opportunities will be evaluated as part of a rigorous evaluation process upon the discretion of the DFC.
 
This request for applications marks DFC’s commitment to leverage all available financial tools to affect the greatest developmental impact possible. These tools include debt financing, investment funds, political risk insurance, technical development, and direct equity investments, following the passage of the Better Utilisation of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act.
 
Since DFC’s launch in January 2020, marking the official transformation from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the agency has been pursuing equity investments. In June, DFC’s Board of Directors approved the agency’s first equity investment, FreshToHome, an e-commerce startup that delivers high-quality, affordable fish, meat, and produce to homes across India. In addition to strengthening food security, the equity investment will support more than 1,500 farmers and fishermen throughout the country, where 70 per cent of rural households depend primarily on agriculture for their livelihood.