Puerto Rico has a lot going for it. Sixty percent of its university graduates hold a STEM degree, giving it the sixth highest availability of scientists and engineers in the world. The workforce is almost entirely bilingual, and in Latin America and the Caribbean the island is first in higher education and second in digital skills in the population. And now, business and governmental leaders are working together through Invest Puerto Rico to build on the U.S. territory’s already strong foundation and diversify its economy.
A significant component of this diversification strategy is to attract and nurture young companies by facilitating the influx of capital and interest to invest in Puerto Rico-based opportunities. To do this, Invest Puerto Rico knew that they need to make finding investment opportunities on the island as easy and transparent as possible. Puerto Rico needed a place for all local companies looking for capital and potential investors to connect, where the relevant information needed to close on a deal could easily be found and acted on. The result was an online investment platform called Impeller that’s more robust and simpler to use than anything other territories, states, or cities have implemented.
Launched in August 2021, Impeller has already had a significant impact. Currently, Impeller has listed 41 deals on the platform and eight have been fully funded, with a total of $22 million raised by listed companies over an 18-month period. And unlike a traditional funding platform, there is no percentage-based fee taken out of proceeds, but an inexpensive one-time listing fee that can be made in the form of a donation to Invest Puerto Rico, a nonprofit organization, which makes it a very cost-efficient channel for raising funds.
The platform can facilitate the entire process for investors anywhere in the world, providing all the relevant documents and prospectuses, contacts, and the means to transfer funds through integrated payment providers. Impeller can work with escrow and facilitate investments using cryptocurrency, and is capable of handling all exemptions in the Securities and Exchange Act (although Reg CF offerings are not currently being offered directly on the platform). That said, not every dollar in that $22 million figure is processed through the platform. Though most of the platform’s 1,000 registered investors are angels, there are also larger institutional investors – one of whom manages a $1 billion investment firm – who typically have their own processes for investment.
Green Acres, a cacao farm and processor, got its start on Impeller. Seeing an opportunity to revitalize cacao production on the island with the rise of varietal chocolate, Green Acres raised $310,000 through Impeller — $60,000 more than their target — to establish a research and development facility. In addition to working to identify the best seeds and varieties, the company has also planted thousands of cacao trees. Having met their milestones, they’re now gearing up for another fund raise.
Agriculture is just one of the sectors represented on Impeller, however. There are companies developing peer-to-peer apps, technology stack-as-a-service offerings, eco-parks, healthcare services, and much more. So whether you’re a Puerto Rico based company looking for capital or an investor looking to invest in an exciting and growing ecosystem, Puerto Rico’s Impeller platform can help you make the connections you need.
Learn more about Puerto Rico’s Impeller platform here.