The winners of the 2023 GPCA Deal Awards were determined by a distinguished panel of institutional investors from development finance institutions, insurance companies, pension funds and trusts.
The 2023 GPCA Deal Awards recognize investments with extraordinary outcomes in the categories of environmental sustainability, social impact, gender/diversity and innovation in Asia, Latin America, Africa, Central & Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Awards included Deal of the Year, featuring an outstanding exit. The awards were presented during the GPCA Investors Meeting in London.
Patria Investments received the 2023 Deal of the Year Award for its investment in ODATA. In 2015, Patria launched ODATA in Brazil as a greenfield investment and has deployed USD291m in the company over the last eight years. ODATA is the first hyperscale data center provider in Latin America to produce renewable energy at all locations, with 85% of the energy consumed being renewable. CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) ranks ODATA among the 8% best evaluated companies in the world for supplier engagement on climate change. Patria agreed to sell 100% of ODATA to U.S.-based data center operator Aligned Data Centers in December 2022.
Openspace received the 2023 GPCA Environmental Sustainability Award for its investment in Octopus. Octopus has built an app that allows households and businesses to signal when they have recyclables ready for pickup, with 500,000 registered users in twelve Indonesian cities. Since Openspace’s investment in 2022, Octopus has grown its topline revenue by 6 times and maintained net margin profitability at 5%. The company trained over 26,000 individuals, 14,000 of whom are women, while improving the working conditions of waste-pickers and collecting up to 1,000 tons of recyclable items monthly.
Helios Investment Partners received the 2023 GPCA Social Impact Award for its investment in Solevo Holding. Solevo, with over 70 years of experience as a distributor of agricultural inputs and industrial chemicals in French-speaking Africa, is the largest provider of fertilizers in Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Ghana. The company has helped one million smallholder farmers in West and Central Africa increase crop yields by 2-3 times and reduce crop damage by 50%. Solevo provided over 2,500 trainings to more than 100,000 rural farmers on the responsible use of agri-inputs to limit soil degradation and has created 37,000 formal jobs while helping sustain 65,000 indirect jobs. Local municipalities have increased their clean water supply by approximately 30% through Solevo’s products, benefiting between 12 and 17 million residents.
Development Partners International (DPI) received the 2023 GPCA Gender/Diversity Award for its investment in Groupe Cofina. Groupe Cofina provides loans to SMEs and offers consumer finance products in Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Guinea, Gabon, Mali, Congo, Burkina Faso and Togo. A Cofina subsidiary, Fin’Elle, is dedicated to supporting female-run businesses and customers in Côte d’Ivoire, offering improved loan terms and higher interest rates on savings accounts for women. In 2022, Cofina and Fin’Elle provided loans to 9,817 women and supported 3,877 women-led SMEs. Women represent 45% of Cofina’s workforce, 33% of C-suite positions and 38% of the Board. Its partnership with UN Women on business training seminars reached 60 women-led co-ops.
BlueOrchard received the 2023 Innovation Award for its investment in Igloo. Based in Southeast Asia, Igloo is an insurtech business specializing in providing microinsurance at scale. Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines represent 90% of gross written premiums. Igloo offers unique products, including embedded calamity insurance in microfinance loans in the Philippines, which assisted 100,000 low-income customers affected by Typhoon Rai in 2021. Over 90% of the clients for this product are female. The company launched the first weather index insurance in Vietnam, making payments to farmers based on rainfall levels. This innovation aims to build resilience against climate change for the most vulnerable.
LEAD School, nominated by Elevar Equity, received the 2023 GPCA Better Tech Award. LEAD School is an India-based edtech software platform targeting affordable and low-fee K-12 private schools with an integrated digital solution for teacher training, student performance and core curriculum delivery. LEAD currently serves over 9,000 private schools across India, benefiting more than 100,000 teachers and 5 million students. Partner schools have seen a 20% increase in learning outcomes and 25% increase in admissions since leveraging LEAD’s platform. LEAD has enabled schools to double the number of students attaining grade-level mastery in English and close multi-year language learning gaps.
For more exemplary private capital investment cases in Asia, Latin America, Africa, Central & Eastern Europe and the Middle East, see the GPCA Deal Books.