How it works
productive assets for entrepreneurs in emerging markets, who make money as they use them
the asset's usage and how much revenue it generates in real-time using IoT technology
back our investors healthy returns through our revenue-share model
We help deploy the assets for local entrepreneurs to use via our network of operating partners on the ground, and earn you returns through our revenue-share model. It’s a win — win — win.
How we're different
Partners and Portfolio
We actively invest in high-potential startups across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, from early-stage equity to growth-stage debt. We work with best operating partners in a variety of sectors and geographies, so we can spread out risk across many assets and markets.
Because we're on the ground, we help international investors navigate diverse emerging markets that offer the most potential - and connect them to small businesses that will create the most value with their capital.
Sending and recieving money is one of the leading issues across Africa, with millions of people still currently unbanked.
Paga is Nigeria's leading mobile money company, building an ecosystem to enable people to digitally send and receive money, and access an array of financial services.
In emerging markets, access to long-term motor leasing is limited or unavailable, creating a barrier to employment for many.
FlexClub is a subscription marketplace for vehicles in South Africa and Mexico, which provides an additional distribution channel to vehicle leasing and rental companies, and increases employment and ownership opportunities for rideshare drivers.
South Africa boasts one of the cleanest water systems in the world, but lack of sanitation and access to clean drinking water in a majority of the country's rural communities still persists.
I-Drop produces Waterpods, safe water dispensing systems installed in grocery stores across South Africa, that combine advanced purification technology into a compact, user-friendly design, and connected to the internet for remote monitoring and control.
More than 75% of the population in 32 African countries lacks access to clean affordable cooking options often relying on wood and kerosene.
PayGas offers affordable access to clean cooking energy (LPG), by building and operating locally-managed gas dispensing stations in South African townships, where consumers can buy only what they can afford thanks to a proprietary technology that fractions gas purchases into smaller quantities.
Entreprenuers in Uganda are often faced with high interest loan fees due to a lack of credit.
Asaak offers motorbikes for bodaboda (motorbike) drivers via a lease scheme, with limited barriers to acquiring. They then use repayments rates to analyse and update entreprenuers' credit scores, allowing them the opportunity to quickly scale their operations.
In Mali, public transportation is slow on public buses, and alternative taxis are expensive for the everyday commuter.
Teliman is scaling the moto-taxi sector in Bamako, Mali, making it easy for moto-taxi drivers to acquire a bike via a leasing scheme, and to find customers via their ride-hailing application.
Access to traditional financing is limited and hard to reach for many entreprenuers across Africa.
Watu Credit offers financing tools and loans to entreprenuers in Uganda, allowing them to finance the assets or equipment (often motorbikes) they need to succeed in their businesses.
Access to water for productive agricultural use is a challenge for many small holder farmers across Sub-Saharan Africa, who constitute the majority of producers on the continent.
Mvua Pap brings solar irrigation to small holder farmers in Kenya on a pay-as-you-go scheme, providing them access to irrigation more affordably and sustainably.
Frequently Asked Questions
When was Untapped founded?
Untapped was founded by serial entrepreneur, Jim Chu, in 2013. What started as a non-profit water distribution company in Haiti eventually scaled into a privatized operation that today serves over 200,000 across the island. Jim struggled to access the funding he needed to grow the company, which led him to develop Smart Asset Financing for other entrepreneurs facing the same problem.
Since then, Jim has become an active angel investor with direct investments in tech startups across Africa (in Mali, Togo, Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa), and an LP in a half dozen venture funds focused on Africa ranging from seed-stage equity to debt and trade finance. With his experience investing on the ground, Jim began expanding Untapped Global in 2019 to help connect investors like himself to entrepreneurs in emerging markets that can use their capital to generate the most value with it.
Hear more about our mission today [here.]
Why are you focused on Africa and other emerging markets?
By investing in the most dynamic, viable, and scalable businesses across emerging markets like Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia, we ensure that working capital and resources reach those with the local knowledge to drive real change on the ground.
Read more from our founder, Jim, about the $5.2T financing gap in emerging markets [here].
What kind of companies do you invest in?
We focus on asset-heavy companies in emerging markets that focus on electric mobility, water distribution, agriculture, and sustainable energy. We also have an equity fund for seed-stage companies in countries across Africa and Latin America, and a growth-stage fund that supports South African companies that are ready to expand globally.
What is Smart Asset Financing?
Smart Asset financing is Untapped Global's investment model that leverages IoT technology to track the usage and revenue of assets used by entrepreneurs in frontier markets, in real time.
Where is Untapped based?
While Untapped Global is domiciled in San Francisco, the Untapped team of international entrepreneurs and investors is based in North America, Europe, the Caribbean, and across Africa.
Our team has decades of experience living, working, and investing in challenging markets, building information technology, and managing finances. We share a deep personal and professional commitment to driving change through innovation, and believe that entrepreneurship and innovation in developing countries can transform economies and societies. Meet the Untapped team [here.]