14 April 2022
Our approach to innovating with catalytic capital
We invest through our Catalyst Portfolio to shape nascent markets and build more inclusive and sustainable economies.
It’s an innovative approach to impact we’ve been following for the last six years to build on British International Investment’s 75-year history of investing in emerging markets. Given we’re investing in markets where there are few precedents or benchmarks, we take a flexible approach to risk in exchange for pioneering impact.
Generalist Catalyst Strategies
We invest through generalist Catalyst Strategies to explore a broad range of investments addressing persistent market failures or building on emerging trends.
In 2017 the Department for International Development transferred the IMPACT Programme to British International Investment to be part of our Catalyst Portfolio.
The Accelerator and Catalyst Funds
These strategies provide a ‘sandbox’ for British International Investment to try and test new models and themes, through direct and intermediated investments respectively, with the ultimate aim of deepening our inclusion or having transformational climate impact.
Venture Capital Scale-Up
Through this strategy, we invest in early-stage companies that use technology and innovative business models to achieve transformational impact. The programme expands on our existing work investing in venture capital funds in developing countries, where our support has been aimed at bridging the funding gap for early-stage businesses, and developing the venture ecosystems in Africa and South Asia.
Thematic Catalyst Strategies
We invest through thematic Catalyst Strategies to address a need within a sector. For example, to close gaps in value chains, financing, inclusion or sustainability.
We currently manage six thematic strategies – and are looking to add more:
Gridworks targets equity investments in transmission, distribution and off-grid electricity in Africa. It is a development and investment platform wholly owned and supported by British International Investment.
Energy Access and Efficiency
Our Energy Access and Efficiency platform aims to increase off-grid access to clean energy and provide finance for resource-efficiency projects, through local currency lending. It is managed in-house at British International Investment
Our Greenovate strategy aims to address, through concessional debt, financing constraints for high impact infrastructure projects caused by first-mover disadvantage, lack of precedent or affordability challenges. It is managed in-house at British International Investment.
MedAccess aims to increase patient access to life-changing medical supplies. It does this by offering volume guarantees to reduce commercial risk and allow medical manufacturers to accelerate supplies to markets at affordable and sustainable prices. It is a UK-based social finance company founded by British International Investment.
Primary Agriculture Platforms
The food and agriculture sector is critical to the economies of the countries where we invest. This strategy aims to help address this important development need. Investing in primary agriculture can create economic opportunities for remote and often poor rural populations. It can also contribute to other development goals, such as nutrition and food security, through nutritious food manufacturing or reduced dependency on imports, or environmental sustainability, through reduced food waste and improved environmental practices. This strategy seeks to provide patient growth capital and specialist support to small and medium-sized agribusinesses, via specialist platforms.
This strategy aims to support the African forestry sector in reducing pressure on natural forests, contributing to climate change mitigation, and having a significant positive and sustainable impact on improving local livelihoods
Managing Director and Head of Asset Allocation and Capital Solutions