DFC direct equity investments can provide critical support to companies committed to creating developmental impact

DFC can provide direct equity investments into companies or projects in the developing world which will have developmental impact or advance U.S. foreign policy. Equity investments can be highly developmental because of their ability to support early and growth-stage companies that would otherwise not be able to take on debt, especially companies in low and lower-middle income countries. 

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.
On December 1, 2020, DFC issued a Direct Equity Request for Applications, accepting proposals for projects in all sectors and countries in which the agency is authorized to invest. Special consideration is given to investment opportunities in the renewable energy, nature-based solutions and adaptation, financial inclusion, digital connectivity, healthcare services and technology, and food security and agriculture sectors, as well as opportunities that advance DFC’s 2X Women’s Initiative.

DFC's ability to make direct equity investments will allow it to play a catalytic role in mobilizing private sector capital to create more developmental impact. 

Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation of prospective applicants considers the following criteria:

  • Real revenue and demonstrated product market fit
  • High growth with strong business model fundamentals
  • Large commercial market with potential for scale
  • Growth-stage companies with plausible exit routes
  • Experienced management team
  • Investments with like-minded DFIs, strategics, and/or private equity or venture capital firms
  • Sound legal structures and appropriate governance