| April 2, 2024

Investment Associate, Ventures

Guest Author

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Website Mercy Corps Ventures

About Mercy Corps  

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.

About Mercy Corps Ventures (MCV):   

Mercy Corps Ventures (MCV) invests in and catalyzes venture-led solutions to increase the resilience of underserved individuals and communities. Founded in 2015 as the impact investing arm of Mercy Corps, we’ve supported 47 early-stage ventures to scale and raise over $400.4 million in follow-on capital and reach nearly 20 million end users with impactful products and services. Our portfolio is 48% female-founded and centers around resilience-building solutions in adaptive agriculture and food systems, inclusive fintech, and climate-smart technologies, so that those living in frontier markets can withstand disruption and plan for the future. Through capital and support, piloting new approaches, action-oriented insights, and rigorously managing impact, we catalyze the ecosystem toward smarter, more impactful investments.

Learn more at www.mercycorpsventures.vc

Purpose / Project Description  

Whether you have a burning desire to dive into venture investing or you already have venture investing experience and are looking to hone your VC craft, this consulting opportunity is for you. Partner with an active, global, early-stage impact venture firm with significant dry powder to deploy, and help them find and back the most disruptive trailblazers in agtech, agrifoodtech, and climate tech.

This is for you if:

  • You are excited to advance your journey into VC as the lead on Mexico and Central American pipeline and portfolio with a top-tier investor that is actively deploying and will give you significant transaction exposure
  • You are passionate about entrepreneurs and share the belief that high-impact startups are the best engines for driving sustainable, equitable, and resilient impact at scale

You might be:

  • A rockstar Senior Analyst at a VC fund who is looking to advance in your career with a more senior role in an agile fund that is passionate about disrupting food systems and driving climate resilience;
  • An investment professional with a strong track record investing in startups, who is eager to apply your skills to a new asset class and pursue a career as a venture capitalist; or
  • A recovering entrepreneur, Investment Banker, Strategy Consultant, or incubator/accelerator manager with unparalleled networks and experience in Mexico and Central America, who has a growth mindset and is excited to drive the startup ecosystem from an investor perspective.
    The Investment Associate will join Mercy Corps Ventures’ growing investment team. They will play a critical role in building out our investment portfolio in Latin America according to our Resilient Future Thesis.

The Investment Associate will act as the “tip of the spear” in generating attractive pipeline and leading deals through to closure in Mexico and Central America with the support and collaboration from the Latam Partners and other senior investment team members. They will be involved in the full investment lifecycle, from sourcing, due diligence, negotiations, and closing of seed and early stage direct investments. The Associate will have the opportunity to take an active role on supporting portfolio companies post-investment. The ideal candidate thrives in independent and virtual team environments, is a proactive and natural networker, and able to build a deep pipeline of investable opportunities, identify promising deals, and collaborate with our team and extensive roster of advisors to successfully close investments.

This is an opportunity to work in a highly entrepreneurial environment with team members who are passionate about identifying and collaborating with talented entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into reality. Individuals who would thrive in our environment demonstrate a strong work ethic, self-motivation, intellectual curiosity, emotional intelligence, and humility. They also take their work seriously but know how to have fun along the way. Moreover, they will be an unparalleled opportunity to co-create, foster, and scale the next generation of deeply impactful startups in some of the world’s most dynamic frontier markets.

We are growing significantly over the next 24 months, so there will be a variety of career growth paths for the Investment Associate within our family of funds.

This will be a full-time consultancy. We are happy to answer questions about how this works and the benefits or limitations of this during the interview process.

The application process will include the following steps and the interview process will be completed in April:

  • Indication of interest via Jobvite
  • Supplemental information: we will ask shortlisted candidates to submit a short Google Form for our team to better understand your profile
  • Initial interview: we will conduct a video interview with the shortlisted candidates to discuss fit and experience, as well as to give candidates an opportunity to ask questions about the role
  • Offline case exercise: you will complete an offline case exercise which helps us to better determine your suitability for the position along with a video interview to review your case
  • Final interview: MCV leadership team will conduct a video interview with the finalists to make a final decision

Activities:  

INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT (70%)

  • Foster strong relationships and facilitate deeper connections between Mercy Corps Ventures and strategic partners in Latin America, including with incubators, accelerators, peer investors and other ecosystem actors with a priority focus on Mexico and Central America focused on target sectors for the region (agtech, agrifoodtech, climate tech).
  • Develop a deep and broad pipeline of potential investments that meet the MCV’s investment theses and criteria in the target geographies (>250 annually)
  • Leverage MCV advisors, Mercy Corps experts & partners, and your own network to conduct comprehensive diligence on potential investments, covering commercial, financial, market, legal, governance, and HR aspects of potential investments
  • Develop investment analysis and market research to inform investment decisions, and consolidate information of investments clearly and succinctly in investment documentation
  • Present investment opportunities to the Investment Committee for debate and approval
  • In collaboration with the Managing Partner and Partner, lead investment structuring, negotiation, documentation, and execution
  • Lead deal closing processes, including local legal due diligence, definitive document development, and any other regulatory requirements
  • Support other investment team members in due diligence and investment opportunity decision making
  • Attend external events and serve on the MCV Team Global Investment Committee, providing input and votes on all investments across MCV’s global portfolio
  • Build an unparalleled network of founders, co-investors, and advisors in target MCV investment markets

PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT (30%)

  • Work with Managing Partner and Partner to oversee and manage future portfolio companies. This entails strategic advisory, attending board meetings, and guiding MCV on how it can engage portfolio companies.
  • Provide strategic support to portfolio companies, such as input on strategic initiatives and strategies to grow and scale operations and clients
  • Ensure all portfolio data is collected, analyzed and reported internally and externally
  • Actively participate in MCV’s investment strategy setting meetings and analysis of portfolio composition and structuring throughout the year

Expected to maintain close working relationships with leaders in the Ventures team, and other senior level leaders within Mercy Corps and partner organizations

Timeframe / Schedule:  

This will be a full-time consultancy for approximately 12 months

The Consultant will report to:  

Partner, Mercy Corps Ventures

Works Directly With: Mercy Corps Ventures team members; Mercy Corps field leadership and staff, partner organizations. Represents the agency to external audiences at events, meetings, and through written public pieces.

Required Experience & Skills:  

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business or related field; MBA a plus
  • 3+ years of business experience with a proven track record in either:
  • Venture capital investing in Latin America
  • Other investment experience (e.g., private equity, impact investing, investment-banking or other fund investing), with some experience in preferred equity, SAFE, and convertible note instruments preferred, but not required
  • Entrepreneurship, incubation/acceleration, or strategy consulting with strong networks and experience in Mexico and Central America focused on MCV thematic areas
  • Primary domain expertise in agtech / agrifoodtech and climate tech (experience in fintech is a plus)
  • Strong base of knowledge in fundamentals of financial analysis including fluidity navigating excel and evaluating financial statements, financial projections and valuations, term sheets, and unit economics
  • Ideally, you’ve been building pioneering solutions in frontier markets at some point and maybe you’ve played multiple roles in the ecosystem previously to see how VCs, angels, startups, and growth stage companies across multiple sectors and geographies work
  • Unmatched network of contacts (investors, angels, accelerators, talent, startups)
  • Hands-on operational experience as a founder or executive team member of a startup in an emerging market or challenging context a plus
  • Track record (as an investor or management consultant) in providing advisory and technical support to companies in emerging markets a plus
  • A team-oriented, “low-ego” individual who works collaboratively in a high-performance environment; just as comfortable strategizing in a boardroom with the C-level team of a startup as chatting with a smallholder farmer customer in Mexico
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills – able to articulately craft an argument and defend a position
  • Fluent in written and spoken English and Spanish

Success Factors 

The ideal candidate will have a proven track record as an investment professional in venture capital or related fields and must be a fast learner, independent, and self-driven.  The candidate will be expected to proactively drive forward key aspects of new investments with support from senior investment leadership. This will require a highly analytical person able to quickly and efficiently assess, analyze and isolate a wide range of business opportunities and risks, including performing financial analysis, with a high degree of precision and professionalism.   A strong networker, this person will also have well-established relationships with entrepreneurs, management teams, industry analysts, other investors and service providers that they utilize to proactively identify investment opportunities. They will be energized to represent MCV at industry events, demo days, and conferences in Mexico and Central America and raise MCV’s profile in the region.  In addition, the ideal candidate will have experience investing in and/or growing innovative companies in frontier markets and a demonstrated commitment to social impact. They will have the desire and ability to play an impactful role in a highly collaborative, dynamic, mission-driven, and team-oriented culture.

A superb communicator, this person is adept at synthesizing complex information and concepts and expressing them in approachable ways. The ideal candidate has a demonstrated passion for harnessing business and technology to solve challenges facing the world’s most vulnerable communities.

The full-time consultancy is expected to be based in Mexico, with a strong preference for candidates living in Mexico City.  (Preference will be given to candidates based in Mexico City, but candidates in other geographies in Mexico and Central America are welcome to apply and will be considered on an individual basis.) This consultancy may require up to 50% travel across Mexico and Central America, and other markets, as relevant. This consultant is expected to travel unaccompanied often, which may include some weekends. Constant communication is important where infrastructure allows.

Candidates must hold authorization and full resources and capabilities to work independently as a consultant for MCV in Mexico, as this cannot be provided or facilitated by Mercy Corps. We are willing to discuss more about how this works during the interview process.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion  

Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity  

Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.

We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics  

Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

As a safeguarding measure, Mercy Corps screens all potential US-Based employees. This is done following the conclusion of recruitment and prior to assuming full employment.  Our screening process is designed to be transparent and completed in partnership with new Team Members. You will have the opportunity to disclose any prior convictions at the conclusion of the recruitment process before the check is initiated. We ask that you do not disclose any prior convictions in your application materials or during the recruitment process.

To apply for this job please visit jobs.jobvite.com.