Wed | Apr 26, 2017

Eight shortlisted for venture capital fund

Published:Monday | October 13, 2014 | 10:00 AM
In this August 2013 photo, Development Bank of Jamaica chairman Joseph Matalon (centre); manager of the DBJ Venture Capital Programme, Audrey Richards; and DBJ managing director Milverton Reynolds address a media conference.

The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) said there has been significant interest from local and international fund managers motivated to establish venture funds and to invest in companies operating in Jamaica.

The DBJ, through the Jamaica Venture Capital Programme (JVCP), recently issued a call for proposals which opened on July 18 and closed on September 19.

Eight proposals have been pre-qualified, which the DBJ said will now move to the next stage of the selection process. The members of the JVCP's investor panel will undertake a due diligence and negotiation process with the pre-qualified fund managers over the next few months before final decisions are made regarding investments.

"We are very encouraged by this development," said Joseph M. Matalon, chairman of the DBJ.

"The interest level displayed at this stage of the development of the venture capital industry in Jamaica is beyond what we had expected and augurs well for the growth of the industry," he added.

The call for proposals was issued by the DBJ along with an investor panel consisting of Jamaican institutional and corporate investors, including ATL Pension Fund; Capital Options; GK Capital Management Limited; ICD Group Limited; JMMB Group; Jamaica Producers; JN Fund Managers; Musson Group; NCB Capital Markets; Pan-Jamaican Investment Trust and Sagicor Group.

Audrey Richards, project coordinator, said the response to the call is "a clear demonstration by investors of their extremely high interest in investing in Jamaican companies of all sizes and in diverse sectors".

Institutional mechanism

"The venture capital and private equity funds provide an institutional mechanism for investors to form partnerships and undertake investments through professionally managed funds. We look forward to evaluating the proposals from these fund managers," Richards said.

The JVCP represents an approach by the DBJ to create sustainable development of the venture capital/private equity industry in Jamaica. The primary focus is on the establishment of an ecosystem conducive to venture capital development through partnerships with private-sector interests in the development of projects which impact entrepreneurs, fund managers and investors. A critical aspect of the ecosystem development is the establishment of an appropriate legal and regulatory framework for venture capital/private equity in Jamaica.