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.
The Department Mercy Corps Ventures 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 global development agency, Mercy Corps, we’ve supported 44 early-stage ventures to scale, reach 19.8 million users with impactful products and services, and raise over $400.4 million in follow-on capital. 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.Select investments include Payhippo, Complete Farmer, Ndovu, Pula, Goldfinch, Ejara and two of Venture for Africa's startup partners, Wasoko and Turaco.MCV has significant capital to deploy and the team is actively sourcing and closing new investments, with a target to close approximately 10 investments in 2023. They will also be launching new investment vehicles in the coming 24 months.For more information, please refer to our 2022 Annual Impact Report, website, and About page.
The Position Whether you have a burning desire to dive into venture investing or you already have some venture investing experience and are looking to hone your VC craft, this role is for you. Join one of the most active global, early-stage impact venture firms, and help them find and back the most disruptive trailblazers in fintech, web3, climate-tech, and ag-tech across Africa and around the world.This is the role for you if:You are excited to dive deep into the impact investing industry and advance your journey into VC 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 scaleMercy Corps Ventures is looking for an Investment Officer to join its growing Investment Team. You will play a supporting role in building out MCV's portfolios and be integrated into all aspects of the investment process from origination to closing.In this position, you will work with the team's other investment professionals to screen, perform due diligence, negotiate, and close seed and early-stage direct investments.
Essential ResponsibilitiesPIPELINE ANALYSIS & DUE DILIGENCE (80%)The Investment Officer will support the investment team in progressing investments through the entire investment cycle, from initial screening to due diligence and closing. This includes:
- Landscaping & Pipeline Analysis: Support the mapping of investment opportunities in specific priority sector(s) for Mercy Corps Ventures.
- Screening: Support on screening investment opportunities through review of pitch decks, participation in live demo days, meeting entrepreneurs, pouring through data rooms, and management of our inbound deal flow.
- Due Diligence: Support the investment team to conduct detailed data room analysis and interviews with relevant industry experts and partner investors to review and analyze business plans, validate assumptions, stress-test financial forecasts, gain an in-depth knowledge of a company’s unit economics, and address key due diligence inquiries and investment risks.
- Investment Research: Conduct and present research as needed in areas such as analysis of market opportunities, threats, competitive differentiation, and potential headwinds to emergent sectors or markets, as necessary to support investment decisions.
- Investment Documentation: Attend all investment team meetings and investment committees and support investment professionals to lead deals through our investment process, including drafting investment memoranda, identifying and explaining key investment risks, coordinating legal and financial DD, structuring and negotiating transaction agreements, and presenting investment opportunities to senior decision-makers.
- Investment Recommendation: The opportunity to support the investment team in making recommendations on and presenting investment opportunities to the Ventures Team, Investment Committee, and Board for debate and approval.
- Deal Structuring and Execution: Assist in the preparation of investment documentation and other transaction documents, as applicable, and support the coordinated onboarding of closed investments into Mercy Corps Venture’s investment portfolio with applicable handoffs to the Platform Team.RESEARCH & INSIGHTS (10%)
- Content Generation: Support the investment team and work with Mercy Corps Venture’s Communications team to develop curated content through insight pieces to be shared externally.PIPELINE & PARTNERSHIP DEVELOPMENT (10%)
- Work with the investment team to grow and foster new relationships with strategic partners such as incubators, accelerators, peer investors, and other ecosystem actors in target geographies and sectors.Supervisory ResponsibilityNone
AccountabilityReports Directly To: Director, Investments, Mercy Corps VenturesWorks Directly With: Investment team members, entrepreneurs, co-investors, and ecosystem partners, with exposure to the broader Mercy Corps Ventures team
Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
Minimum Qualifications & Transferable Skills
- 3-5 years of business experience with a background in corporate finance, investment banking, management consulting, startup operations, or venture building.
- Financial Analysis Ability: A Foundational grasp of finance and financial modeling - comfortable navigating and summarizing complex financial models in excel.
- Fluency in fundamental financial terms, understanding of financial statements, and ability to evaluate a company’s financial performance and dissect a financial model with minimal oversight and guidance.
- Comfort assessing valuation methodologies and running valuation scenarios, stress testing model assumptions and running scenario analysis would be ideal.
- You should possess an insatiable curiosity (and ideally some experience) in problem sets and solutions within fintech, web3, agtech, and/or climate-tech as well as a strong interest in venture capital in Africa. Knowledge of fundamental business concepts and a foundational grasp of the venture capital model is a plus.
- Some connections with investors, angels, accelerators, and startups in Africa are a plus but not required. You should be interested in supporting MCV in building our network of partners over time.
- Fluent in written and spoken English (French is a plus)Success FactorsThe ideal candidate will have a superb track record as a fast learner, quick starter, and action-oriented problem solver. We are a low-ego, collaborative team and these traits are essential for any candidate. A candidate needs to have strong strategic thinking skills and be able to navigate complex environments and develop a clear, focused, and ambitious vision. The ideal candidate must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and be able to articulately craft an argument and defend a position. They will have the desire and ability to be part of a highly collaborative, dynamic, mission-driven, and team-oriented culture.
Living Conditions / Environmental ConditionsThe position must be based in-person, in Nairobi, Kenya. This is a global role, so may require up to 50% travel to multiple global locations. This position is expected to travel unaccompanied often, which may include some weekends. Constant communication is important where infrastructure allows.Candidates must hold authorization to work in Kenya as this cannot be provided or facilitated by Mercy Corps.
Ongoing LearningIn support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development
Diversity, Equity & InclusionAchieving 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 OpportunityMercy 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 & EthicsMercy 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.