Partners for the Amazon Platform business roundtable invests R$ 4.8 mi in Amazonian impact businesses

sturtles selected to participate in the Acceleration Program of Partners for the Amazon Platform (PPA) gathered in Manaus for a business roundtable with impact investors, institutes and philanthropic foundations. The presentation of pitches took place on 05/12 in Manaus.

A total of R$ 4.8 million were invested in 9 impact businesses, which operate in the areas of food production, energy generation, sustainable extractivism, environmental education, river transport logistics and commercialization platform: Na Floresta, Coex Carajás, Oka Sucos, Prátika Engenharia, Tucum Brasil, Academia Amazônia Teach, NavegAM, Manioca and Onisafra.

The amount invested in the business is four times greater than that invested in the business roundtable promoted by the PPA in 2018, which accounted for a total of R$ 1.1 million. Investors in the 2019 round were Sitawi, USAID, Conexsus, Fundo Vale, Instituto Humanize, FIIMP, Grupo Rede Amazônica and Althelia Funds, almost all members of the PPA.

?The round totally exceeded our expectations. We were surprised at the stage of business development and how ready they are to receive investment and start an expansion process? ?This round was a little different from the one we held last year, mainly because many businesses were still in the business modeling and start-up phase. With this new group, a major focus will be on developing strategies for measuring and communicating the impact of their businesses, he says.

Ted Gehr, director of USAID Brazil, points out that “in addition to the real progress in the number of applicants and the volume of investments from one year to the next, I was very impressed with the quality of the presentations. It was clear that they had given serious thought to the business plans, and the enthusiasm they all showed for their products and services and for the sustainable development of the Amazon”. 

Investment that makes a difference 

For impact businesses in the initial phase, it is often difficult to find investors who work with smaller-value tickets, which makes it difficult for businesses in the initial phases to access resources, which need smaller contributions to run. This is also an important contribution of the PPA to these startups, as pointed out by Andrea Resende, director and person in charge of the impact investment area at Sitawi.

?Sitawi has a history of partnering with the PPA and other projects aimed at impact investing and sustainable development in the Amazon. Supporting the development of new sustainable business models in the region is one of our priorities. This work by PPA, of bringing together different types of investors and capital to make it possible to finance these businesses, is fundamental, because companies and businesses will only become great if they have the first, the second check. We are happy to further expand Sitawi's participation in this new round, with technical support in the selection and evaluation of businesses and as main investors?, he evaluates.

This year's business roundtables were attended by 8 out of 15 startups selected for the 2020 PPA Acceleration Program, in addition to two others that joined the Program in 2019: Na Floresta, Coex Carajás, Oka Sucos, Tucum, Academia Amazônia Ensina, NavegAM, Nossa Fruits, Manioca and Onisafra. Investments in each business varied according to their needs and level of structure.

Other businesses selected for the 2020 Program competed for the PPA Entrepreneur Award, also awarded during the business roundtable, which awarded three of them with R$ 10 thousand each: Ouro Verde Institute, Serras Guerreiras de Tapuruquara and Cacauway.

Artur Coimbra, owner of the company Na Floresta, received the biggest investment ticket of the business roundtable. The main product is Na?kau chocolate, produced since 2017 with Amazonian cocoa bought from riverside and agroextractivist communities: ?We have already gone through a lot of difficulties and casualties to continue existing. With this resource, we will work and bring back to everyone who supports us and do even more. We also need this PPA acceleration program, so that we can listen to each other and get help from other people to better deal with the business model, financial issues, numbers. Make us even more professional. The Amazon needs this, and our commitment is to serve the people who are here, he says.

Other startup investee, NavegAM, seeks to solve an important bottleneck for the Amazonian businesses themselves: river transport logistics. ?We left with more than double what we asked investors for. Are we going to invest everything in developing solutions for the Amazon, seeking to solve the bottleneck that is, in addition to passenger transport and river freight, the difficulty of obtaining information in this sector?, evaluates Geferson Oliveira, one of the members of the business.

The Acceleration Program is led by a group of PPA companies, coordinated by Idesam and has strategic and financial support from USAID, CIAT, Instituto Humanize and Fundo Vale. Sitawi has been a partner of the program since 2018.

To learn more about the invested businesses and the participants of PPA's 2020 Acceleration Program, visit

Related publications

Skip to content