Pact, an international, non-profit development organization, announced today that its newly revamped impact investment group, Pact Ventures, has finalized its second corporate partnership since the start of fiscal year 2019.
The announcement came after an agreement with Nigeria-based MDaaS Global – a tech-enabled medical diagnostics company, specializing in imaging, cardiac, and laboratory services – to provide modern diagnostics services to Pact’s beneficiaries.
Brian Vo, Pact's Vice President for Social Investment and Innovative Financing, noted that the partnership has the potential to be a game-changer for communities impacted by HIV.
“In Nigeria and other countries where we work, one of our focus areas is on improving maternal, newborn, and child health and stopping the spread of HIV. This partnership, with an impact-oriented, private-sector partner, can help us increase the scale and impact of the work we do in-country by creating access to diagnostic services for our beneficiaries.”
Vo, who joined Pact earlier this year after careers in finance and management consulting, added that the MDaaS Global agreement is the second in a broader strategy of “tri-sector” partnerships Pact Ventures has pursued, aimed at engaging and leveraging the private sector to magnify the impact of Pact’s core development work.
Earlier this year, Pact Ventures also made an investment in Amped Innovation, a designer and manufacturer of income-generating solutions and off-grid solar appliances. The investment came on the heels of Pact’s launch of ‘Energy for Prosperity,’ a platform to improve energy access through both donor-funded and private sector initiatives, and Smart Power Myanmar, an initiative to mobilize capital to roll out thousands of mini-grids and other rural electrification solutions in Myanmar.
“We are leveraging our Amped investment to distribute off-grid solar appliances to beneficiaries in places like Myanmar. In the process, we are shifting the paradigm of Pact’s relationship from donor-beneficiary to provider-customer. Marginalized communities must have a voice in what support they get. In addition to classic development, market-based development solutions give them that voice – they speak through how they spend their resources and where they invest in their communities. Across Pact, we are looking to create similar sustainable market forces to alleviate social need at scale,” said Vo.
Of their collaboration with Pact Ventures, Amped said, “It has been a pleasure to team up with the Pact Ventures team. They executed a smooth, fast diligence process with minimal burden on our end. Post-investment, they’ve been very proactive and helpful in creating synergies and collaborating on opportunities. Overall, they’ve been a different breed of impact investor and we’re excited to continue working together.”
For his part, Pact President and CEO Mark Viso welcomed the partnership as another important milestone in Pact’s ongoing transformation into a ‘Fourth Sector’ organization - blurring lines between public, private and social benefit while creating shared prosperity through market solutions.
“Pact Ventures was set up to help us stay ahead of emerging trends in blended financing and impact investing. Bringing together profiles less commonly seen in a classically USAID-funded development organization, we now have a team with high-performing backgrounds from the likes of McKinsey & Company, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and MBAs from top-tier programs. We’re coupling technical experience in investment banking, private equity, strategy, and social entrepreneurship with our classic approaches to development and policy to better understand the geographies we work in,” said Viso.
“We’ve brought this suite of expertise in-house to create market mechanisms that can listen and adapt to the voices of our beneficiaries in a way we could never before. Although an unusual pairing, Pact believes this combination of profiles is what is needed to solve complex development challenges, and we’re already seeing the results."
“In the coming months, we are focused on three key goals,” said Vo. “We want to identify and invest in promising social enterprises that augment Pact’s core capabilities. We want to explore and test innovative models to deliver impact in new and sustainable ways. Finally, we are looking to build shared-value relationships with private sector partners and invite anyone who is interested in learning more to reach out.”