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MIF backs venture capital funds specialized in life sciences companies in Brazil and Chile

The Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment fund (MIF) will invest up to $5 million in the Burrill Brazil Fund and up to $4 million in the Burrill Chile Fund, which will invest in life sciences entrepreneurs in those two South American countries.


The Burrill Brazil Fund, which plans to raise about $100 million, will also be backed by international and Brazilian institutional and corporate investors, as well as Brazilian family offices. The Burrill Chile Fund plans to raise about $40 million, including contributions from Chilean investors. 


The funds will invest in companies involved in activities such as healthcare services and delivery, medical devices, clean technologies, agricultural biotechnology, and biopharmaceuticals.    


Both funds will be managed by local subsidiaries of Burrill & Co, a Silicon Valley venture capital fund manager with more than 15 years of experience in investing in life sciences deals in the United States, Europe and emerging markets. In Chile they will work with Austral Capital, an established local venture capital fund management company. 


The funds will support between 16 and 25 life sciences entrepreneurs in Chile and Brazil. Their ventures could create about 460 high technology jobs and 1,700 indirect jobs within the first three years of the funds’ operation.


The new project benefitted from the MIF’s earlier experiences promoting venture capital funds in Brazil and Chile, and from relationships that Burrill & Co has built in the region.


“We’re delighted that a well-known venture capital fund manager from Silicon Valley is entering Latin America and the Caribbean and collaborating with local partners,” said MIF project team leader Susana Garcia-Robles.


“We see this as recognition of the incredible entrepreneurial value and the promise of this region’s life sciences industry. The development of life sciences in our countries can help reverse brain drain, diversify local economies, and attract international capital to the region,” she added.


An autonomous fund administered by the IDB, the MIF promotes the development of microenterprises and small and medium-size businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean, providing access to various forms of financing and knowledge networks.