Award-winning venture capital firm has carved a niche by prioritising investment in companies with sustainability at heart – and it’s a strategy that’s working
Nazca is an early-stage VC firm founded in 2014 with a challenging mission: to empower the best leaders in Mexico and Latin America, entirely based on merit, and to balance the status-quo between capital and talent. Nazca’s empowerment vision focuses on building the ultimate environment for each founder to thrive. An environment where every leader and their teams can flourish and reach their maximum potential faster. By doing so, Nazca is setting their region on a path towards social and economic success.
Nazca provides multi-stage venture capital, mainly focusing on early stages of companies (Seed-Series A) where the fund can provide value in this challenging stage. Through its platform, Nazca delivers unique peer-learning opportunities as well as unparalleled expert networks. Also enabling unprecedented access to key stakeholders and critical gatekeepers. This facilitates swift entry and access to preferred relationships with renowned commercial partners. Nazca’s platform also helps identify and attract the most talented individuals to join the founders’ teams; it enables robust guidance on environmental and social policies, and most importantly, achieves all this while creating a strong and sustainable relationships. The firm has successfully backed iconic companies including Kavak, Ze Brands (Luuna), Wonder Brands, Crehana, Justo, Albo, Yuno and Urbanic.
Nazca has pioneered the implementation of environmental and social policies (E&S) in VC-backed companies in Latin America. Nazca’s E&S objectives involve aligning the fund’s actions with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda of invested countries. The firm prioritises a commitment to responsibly and promptly improve, maintain, and operate the Environmental & Social Risk Management System (ESRM), while also adhering to recognised benchmark practices. Additionally, Nazca aims to replicate and foster positive E&S practices across the organisations and companies in which it invests, and actively measures the impact generated through its operations. In order to achieve these objectives, the firm has appointed an E&S Officer, developed and implemented an ESRM, provided staff training, and implemented an external communication mechanism.
Nazca’s ESRM is a comprehensive process that is integrated into the firm’s investment process. It involves reviewing potential investments, categorising their risk level, establishing E&S requirements, evaluating through an investment committee, and aligning with portfolio companies through action plans. This ensures environmental and social considerations are addressed and supports responsible business practices. As a firm, Nazca constantly drives new initiatives that align with the company’s E&S goals. Nazca has made investments in clean technologies, sustainable foods, energy management, and agriculture, driven by its commitment to doing what is right and its belief in this trend. This can be observed through their involvement in the following companies:
- BIA – A digital energy services provider, BIA empowers SMEs to take control of their energy consumption, providing savings, insights, and targeted services. BIA’s innovative solution also aims to create a distributed grid system that connects consumers with clean energy producers, such as solar and wind power. With this approach, BIA is paving the way for a more sustainable energy future while simultaneously benefiting businesses and consumers alike.
- Core-Zero – Delivers a climate-tech ESG ecosystem focused on creating value out of waste. Core-Zero is able to monetise these efforts through carbon credits, creating a financial incentive for businesses to prioritise sustainability. This approach not only helps to mitigate climate change, but also creates a circular economy that generates value from waste.
- Entocycle – A company that produces sustainable insect-based protein used as animal feed. Entocycle is the first competitor to use technology for farming BSF larvae. Their patent pending technology can help flies’ mating become more efficient, reducing the lead time for production.
- Rurall – A company that aims to improve the agriculture supply chain by enabling Latin America’s small- and medium-sized farmers to profitably scale their operations through an integrated solution that streamlines commercialisation, solves working capital requirements, and promotes better production through improved access to quality supplies and knowledge.
- Alta Motors – A manufacturer of lightweight electric vehicles designed to offer latest generation electric motorcycle. The company’s vehicles offer a complete portfolio of proprietary battery and drivetrain components as well as an existing fleet of lightweight vehicles.
Co-founders and Managing Partners, Jaime Zunzunegul and Hector Sepulveda recently reflected on Nazca’s success to date: “In recognition of its achievements, Nazca has recently been awarded the ‘Tech Investment Team of the Year 2023’, ‘Early-Stage Venture Capital Company of the Year 2023’ from The European Global Business Awards, as well as ‘Best ESG Transformative Technology Investment Team Latin America 2022’ from Capital Finance International. These awards recognise the firm’s dedication to identifying and supporting innovative, technology-driven businesses in Spanish-speaking Latin America, and its commitment to building strong relationships with talented and visionary leaders in the region.
“As a whole Nazca’s principles and investment thesis have come a long way since we first began, which is why these awards and industry recognition mean so much to us. We recognise that technology is rapidly changing the world, and are excited to be at the forefront of this revolution. Ultimately, our success reflects the success of the companies we invest in. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with such talented entrepreneurs and are committed to continuing to support them on their journey to success.”
Managing Partners and company founders Jaime Zunzunegul (left) and Hector Sepulveda
Main image: Nazca has assembled a highly experienced and motivated team rooted in the founders’ values