USAID Announces $18.4 Million in Support of Cutting Edge Innovation

For Immediate Release

Monday, November 13, 2017

Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) program announced $18.4 million in support of 18 new grantees. The grantee organizations -- the majority of which are new USAID partners -- span seven sectors and nine different countries, from Brazil to Zambia. 

Since 2010, USAID-supported DIV innovations have collectively benefited 25 million people living in poverty. For every U.S. taxpayer dollar spent, we have generated $4 in funding from outside investors, lenders, and philanthropists. The new grantees include:

  • Yaathum Biotech, an Indian biotech company developing a point-of-care diagnostic tool making it easier to quickly identify drug-resistant Tuberculosis (TB) and Keheala, a Kenya-based company with a digital platform that helps Kenyans better adhere to their TB drug regimens.  
  • Apollo Agriculture uses satellite imaging and machine learning to deliver agronomic advice to smallholder farmers in Kenya, reducing rural poverty and improving food security.  Farm Drive, which also operates in Kenya, uses these same alternative data sources to help financial institutions understand the risk profiles of smallholder farmers. Similarly, One Acre Fund bundles agricultural services that improve the livelihoods and agricultural productivity of smallholder farmers in Uganda and Malawi, and Tulaa helps Kenyan smallholder farmers more easily obtain loans for agricultural inputs.
  • PowerGen helps develop, construct, and operate micro-grids in Kenya and connect them to the main electrical grid.  Powerhive specializes in solar micro-grids and provides Kenyan customers with low-cost appliance leases and business loans. Devergy is a social energy service company commercializing an affordable solar micro-grid approach to electrifying off-grid communities in Tanzania.
  • Instiglio, in partnership with Village Enterprise, is designing and implementing a Development Impact Bond to help "graduate" households in Kenya and Uganda out of extreme poverty.  Harambee has built the largest dataset on unemployed youth in South Africa, and is now using machine learning to understand what leads employers to exclude young people from obtaining employment.  J-PAL Africa and UNICEF/Zambia are working with Zambia's Ministry of General Education on a national rollout of Pratham's Teaching at the Right Level Program, which assesses students' advancement levels and groups them accordingly to help them acquire foundational skills to catch up to grade level.

For more information about all of the new grantees, click here.

About Development Innovation Ventures (DIV): DIV supports innovative ideas, pilots, and tests them using cutting-edge analytical methods, and scales solutions that demonstrate widespread impact and cost-effectiveness.  DIV's tiered-funding model, inspired by the venture capital experience, invests comparatively small amounts in relatively unproven concepts, and continues to support only those that prove they work. Visit the DIV portfolio  to see the evidence-gathering and scale-up activities of DIV winners around the world.

Last updated: November 13, 2017

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