Press release

JPMorgan Chase, DFID and CDC announce $20 million combined investment in Novastar Ventures

JPMorgan Chase and DFID will invest in promising businesses in East Africa to kick start growth across the region.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Picture: Simon Davis/DFID
Picture: Simon Davis/DFID

The new $5 million investment by JPMorgan Chase will be matched by an additional $15 million from DFID’s Impact Investment Fund (making a total of around £12 million).

Launched in 2013, the fund is managed by the CDC, the UK’s own development finance institution.

The investment in Novastar Ventures will allow it to fund early-stage businesses that provide essential services to some of the poorest communities in East Africa, such as healthcare, energy, housing, education and sanitation. It will also allow Novastar to build on its successful investment in Bridge Academies, which created 250 affordable schools in Kenya and employed over 3,000 staff.

Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International Development said:

Our joint investment will ensure promising businesses get the support they need to create jobs and deliver much needed services like health and education.

Sharing our joint knowledge and expertise on development and sound investment choices will improve the lives of many of the poorest people across East Africa.

Peter L. Scher, Executive Vice President and head of Corporate Responsibility at JP Morgan Chase said:

We are very proud to partner with the UK Government in providing investment to Novastar and the critically important businesses they support in East Africa.

Our firm has made a substantial commitment to supporting market-driven solutions to some of the world’s most pressing social, economic and environmental challenges. Novastar’s management team has an accomplished record of financing start-ups that seek to improve the basic quality of life for people in East African communities. We’re thrilled that our investment can help expand their efforts.

Steve Beck, Managing Director of Novastar said:

We’re looking for the next generation of exceptional entrepreneurs who are designing and executing innovative business models to profitably serve low-income consumer markets in East Africa.

By supporting these entrepreneurs and the growth of their ventures, we aim to generate long-term capital appreciation for our investors and significant, scalable benefits to these consumers and producers. In so doing, we hope to attract more entrepreneurship and private capital into the emerging economies of East Africa.

Diana Noble, CDC’s Chief Executive said:

Impact investments have the potential to transform the lives of millions of the poorest people in Africa and South Asia. That’s why I’m delighted that CDC has been able to make our first commitment from the DFID Impact Fund to Novastar Ventures.

Novastar will now be able to provide early-stage funding to businesses in East Africa that provide vital jobs, goods and services. When CDC commits its capital to impact investment, we’re looking for teams, like Novastar, who are able to raise money from other commercial investors. So I’m particularly pleased that JPMorgan Chase has joined CDC in backing Novastar.

Jay Kimmelman, Cofounder and CEO of Bridge International Academies said:

We are delighted to have Novastar join our latest investment round.

Novastar’s founding partners have supported Bridge since our very early days. Their values are closely tied with ours – seeking innovative business-based solutions to sustainably solve some of the world’s greatest problems. Their investment and their experience will be invaluable as we enter our next phase of expansion.

The investment follows DFID’s appointment of Novastar as the first beneficiary of its Impact Investment Fund in January 2014. The UK’s £75 million Impact Fund is expected to benefit five million people over the next thirteen years, by providing capital to fund innovative enterprises that serve the poor as employees, producers and consumers.

This investment is the latest example of JPMorgan’s innovative partnerships with governments and NGOs to solve social and environmental challenges. Since its launch in 2007, JPMorgan Chase has committed more than $50 million in capital to a number of funds making investments in Africa and other parts of the world.

Notes to editors

  1. Case studies and supporting images of previous Novastar investments available on request.

  2. JPMorgan Chase’s $5 million investment brings total private sector funding to $10 million in Novastar, boosted by $15 million in investment from DFID

  3. The US$15 million (approximately £9 million) allocation from the UK Government is taken from DFID’s £75 million impact investment fund managed by the CDC. It is part of an overall Impact Programme which aims to foster the development of the impact investment market in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and to attract new investors.

  4. Find out more at:

About CDC

CDC is the UK government-owned development finance institution that uses its own balance sheet to invest in the developing countries of Africa and South Asia. It has net assets of £2.8bn.

CDC’s mission is to support the building of businesses in Africa and South Asia, creating jobs and making a lasting difference to people’s lives in some of the world’s poorest places. Under its strategy, announced in September 2012, CDC provides debt and direct investment to businesses as well as acting as a fund-of-funds investor. CDC now only makes new investment commitments in Africa and South Asia.

About JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.4 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management and private equity. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at

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Published 8 April 2014