November 10: Nepal Private Equity Association (NPEA), with the support of the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), announced the launch of “Agora” - a web platform connecting entrepreneurs in emerging and frontier markets with investors and experts, fostering collaboration for driving economic growth.
Issuing a joint statement, NPEA said it will leverage the Agora platform to advance the association’s mission of promoting access to finance for Nepalese small and medium-sized enterprises in support of innovation, job creation and entrepreneurship.
The announcement will commence a call-to-action among NPEA’s membership, which includes investment firms, fund managers and financial services providers, to leverage the Agora platform in advancing the strategic objectives of the association, reads the statement.
According to the statement, NPEA and UNCDF had agreed on jointly supporting the launch of Agora in July prior to the platform going live in October. The association claimed that the launch of the platform will support Nepal in becoming one of the inaugural countries to officially deploy the Agora platform in country.
“We are pleased to have this partnership with UNCDF. Agora will complement our deal sharing platform and provide access to our entrepreneurs and investors to a much wider perspective. As Nepal Private Equity Association strives to enhance the alternative investment ecosystem in Nepal partnerships such as this help expedite innovation,” said Siddhant Raj Pandey, chairman of NPEA.
“Agora is a global public good that can be leveraged to provide the best total service to the Nepalese enterprise ecosystem, whether the SMEs are larger in size,” said Xavier Michon, deputy executive secretary of UNCDF. “Agora will bridge the information gap that prevents investment finance from reaching promising projects in the world’s emerging and frontier economies. By bridging this gap, Agora will help deliver critical lifelines of capital to the businesses, entrepreneurs, and communities in Nepal that have been underserved by the global financial architecture.”
The statement further said that NPEA endeavors to strengthen and promote Nepal’s private and alternative investment ecosystem.
“Through Agora, NPEA will look to close the information gap to position Nepalese SMEs in accessing investment finance from regional and global capital providers. Additionally, as an aggregator and database of investors, NPEA will look to use Agora to nurture collaboration between private equity and venture capital firms within Nepal as well as collaborate between Nepalese firms and those operating at regional and global levels.”
By utilizing cutting-edge algorithms and artificial intelligence to facilitate connections between entrepreneurs and investors, Agora supports entrepreneurs in accessing a diverse pool of investors to improve their funding prospects, while investors discover tailored opportunities that unlock the potential of emerging and frontier markets, added the statement.
In collaboration with a network of like-minded partners, UNCDF is deploying Agora as a global public good, with an eye of reaching approximately 20 countries by the end of 2023.