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Nepal’s First Private-Equity Fund Has a Climate Focus

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Nepal's First Private Equity Fund

Written by: Peter Matasek

Try to explain what BO2 is doing:

Business Oxygen Private Limited (BO2) is Nepal’s first private-equity fund that has a climate focus. It is a part of the IFC’s Global SME Ventures initiative with investments from the IFC of the World Bank Group, Climate Investment Fund’s (PPCR) and UK Aid’s DFID and is managed by WLC Ventures Pvt. Ltd, a subsidiary of White Lotus Centre Pvt. Ltd. This sector-agnostic fund combines risk capital financing with advisory support to help investee small and medium enterprises develop fundamental financial systems, quality-assurance standards, and corporate governance frameworks.

Can you give an example of who your customer is?

Our customers are entrepreneurs who are looking to raise scale up capital in small and medium enterprises.  Access to capital is difficult in Nepal especially if you do not have security to back your loan as collateral. Therefore, PE funds like Bo2 provide that much needed capital in the form of equity along with technical support and assistance for the entrepreneur and his/her enterprise to grow.

How many people work with you? 

Bo2 has a team of 10 professionals that has, so far, managed 12 accounts, which directly employ 460 people and have an impact on over 45000 people in the value chain.

The labor market has been difficult to find qualified people lately, do you have this problem?

The biggest problem in Nepal is the out ward migration of the young people. Therefore, this is a continual problem and the SMEs have to struggle to employ and retain qualified people.

What markets do you do best?

We are a sector agnostic fund.

What’s the latest trend in your segment? Are you thinking about expanding into other markets?

PE/VC is a maturing asset class in Nepal. We plan to raise our second fund end of this year that will surpass SME sector and move to larger investments. Having said that, we will continue to cater to the SME sector, as it is very important to develop that sector in markets like Nepal.

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