FIS Ameris, the impact investing arm of Ameris Capital, was launched in 2017 to fund early-stage social enterprises in Chile. Among the funds’ backers are Ben and Lucy Ana Walton, board members of the Walton Family Foundation, which supports educational and environmental projects in the United States. With the help of CORFO, a Chilean government seed capital fund, FIS Ameris has raised over US$7M to support Chilean social enterprises.
According to María José Montero, partner in FIS Ameris:
“This initiative plans to provide up to US$50K to enterprises that have a clear social or environmental impact, in order to accelerate their growth.”
In early 2018, the fund made its first investments in two Chilean startups: AllRide and Kirón. Allride is an app that helps people find carpools based on the similarity of their commutes. Kirón designs innovative medical devices for people with physical disabilities, including a wheelchair called Get-Up that helps people stand.
The fund is looking to invest in three more early-stage ventures, as well as two that are growing. Montero claims these enterprises can come from any industry and can be startups, nonprofits, or B Corps; however, they must have a clear socio-ecological impact that targets the base of the pyramid and the potential to be self-sustaining.
The 2018 application process is still open and can be found here.