A SOCAP22 Podcast Episode
Systems data presents a potential solution for small and growing businesses looking to boost their visibility with investors and support organizations.
In What Is Systems Data? And Why Investors Need it in Emerging Markets, a conversation recorded in advance of SOCAP22, Jason Eaves of Discovered Markets, Adesuwa Rhodes of Aruwa Capital Management, and Pratap Raju of the Climate Collective Foundation discuss how systems data can help counter biases and enhance business relationships in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Eaves says Discovered Markets believes that market systems data is a crucial component for the success of businesses and investors, especially those seeking improved social and environmental impact. Taking a systems view of a company’s ecosystem — including investors, support organizations, government offices, educational institutions, and others — can reveal connections and competitions that allow entrepreneurs and other small business owners to better understand potential risks and opportunities, he says.
“This data can be used by policymakers, support organizations, and business associations to focus their development efforts,” Eaves says. “A systems view of the market can highlight new investment opportunities … and decrease inequity in investment decisions — all of which are needed to accelerate investment in emerging markets.”
At Nigeria-based Aruwa Capital Management, Rhodes leads the fund’s work to invest with a gender lens in essential sectors such as health care, fintech, and renewable energy. She says systems data can help entrepreneurs raise their visibility among investors and take their work from a local level to a global level.
Aruwa Capital also is among those using systems data to increase the percentage of impact investment in companies addressing gender inequities and driving local economic growth, she says. “I’m a big believer that enhanced gender diversity within our portfolio companies has a triple-bottom-line effect,” Rhodes says, noting that it enhances profitability, alleviates poverty, and increases families’ access to basic goods and services. “We always are enacting our gender action plans across every investment.”
At the Climate Collective Foundation in India, Pratap says he’s seen investors grow more comfortable with startups over the last 20 years thanks to ecosystem support. In recent years angel networks and early-stage funds have shown strong interest in the climate technology startup space, he says. “It’s quite unusual. I expected a bigger gap before private capital would look at scaling up solutions in accelerators like us.”
These climate tech companies are attracting capital from a mix of local, regional, and global sources. “We have a dearth of local investors with enough experience,” he says. “The ecosystem is quite important to bring in all these different types of stakeholders who come in at different stages, from ideation to deployment and growth.”
Jason Eaves, CEO, Discovered Markets
Adesuwa Rhodes, Founder & CEO, Aruwa Capital Management
Pratap Raju, Founding Partner, Climate Collective Foundation
Take a listen to an additional SOCAP22 podcast episode:
Money + Meaning is the official podcast of SOCAP. The series aims to expand the conversation around impact investing and strategies to finance and support social change while stimulating innovative and valuable new partnerships across sectors.