Winners of the inaugural 2021 Deal Awards were selected from among deals submitted from over 20 GPCA member firms and determined by a distinguished panel of institutional investors from development finance institutions, insurance companies and pension funds through a rigorous scoring process.

Recognizing the significant progress private capital funds in global markets have made to accelerate the integration of ESG strategies into investment decision-making, GPCA and CDC Group partnered to present the inaugural ESG Performance Award for Private Capital Funds. The inaugural ESG Performance Award was split into two categories to account for the different approaches to ESG strategies:

SilverStreet Capital received the Sector-Focused Fund Manager Award for their “measurable impact towards the major challenge of biodiversity loss and its considered understanding of the interconnectivity with climate change risk,” said Award judge Natasha Buckley, Vice President, ESG, Harbourvest.

Adenia Partners received the Generalist Fund Manager Award for their “long-standing and highly formalized commitment to ESGI, their approach to ‘theory of change’ at each portfolio company and the emphasis given to performance improvement in respect to both DE&I and climate change,” said Award judge Adam Black, Partner, Head of ESG & Sustainability, Coller Capital.

Earlybird Digital East received the 2021 GPCA Deal of the Year Award for their investment in UiPath. Earlybird Digital East backed UiPath in 2015 as a startup with 10 engineers operating out of one office in Bucharest, today it is a global company with 40 offices and nearly 3,000 employees. UiPath is at the forefront of robotic process automation, utilizing computer vision and machine learning to provide solutions and services to corporate customers. Earlybird Digital East committed a total of USD16.6m to UiPath in early investment rounds. The company realized a blockbuster IPO on the NYSE in 2020 which valued the company at more than USD35b.

Elevar Equity received the 2021 GPCA Social Impact Award for their investment in Samunnati. Samunnati is a non-banking financial company providing loans to smallholder farmers, with an outreach of over 6m through more than 1500 farmer collectives over 22 states in India. The percentage of loans originated to farmers cultivating two hectares of land or less was 82% as of March 2021. In the state of Tamil Nadu, Samunnati’s work with the Social Education Economic Development Society (SEEDS) resulted in a nearly 20% reduction in the production cost incurred by member farmers, and between a 15-20% increase in income per household as a result of better margins.

Actis received the 2021 GPCA Environmental Sustainability Award for their investment in Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye, Lekela Power. Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye (PETN) is the first utility-scale wind energy platform in Senegal and the largest wind farm in West Africa. One of several projects being developed by Lekela Power, PETN will provide 158.7 megawatts of clean, reliable power to Senegal’s electricity grid once completed. It is designed to operate for a minimum of 20 years, while providing power to over two million people.

Affirma Capital received the 2021 GPCA Gender/Diversity Award for their investment in Fine Hygienic Holding (FHH). Based in Jordan, FHH is a vertically integrated hygienic paper product manufacturer with over USD450m as in annual sales, operating in nine countries in the Middle East and North Africa. In 2018, FHH incorporated women into senior management roles for the first time, now representing one-third of the leadership team. FHH also hired the first female sales representatives in Saudi Arabia and has established production teams in the local factory that are completely staffed and run by women. A maternity policy of 16 paid weeks is one of the most progressive in the MENA region.

Crescera Capital received the 2021 GPCA Innovation Award for their investment in Afya. Afya is a medical education group focused on the lifelong learning of physicians in Brazil. The company produces and distributes high-quality content covering the entire professional journey of its students, with trainings from undergraduate to specialization and preparation for medical residencies. Campuses are located in 13 Brazilian states, including the north and northeast regions of Brazil, which have historically had a shortage of physicians. The digital platform is available nationwide.

For more exemplary private capital investment cases in Asia, Latin America, Africa, Central & Eastern Europe and the Middle East, view the Global Private Capital Association Deal Books.