Est. $1.5 Milliont to be Invested in 18 Entrepreneurial Projects in Rural Brazil Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Help Speed Lending and Provide Transparency
Moeda, the first cooperative lending platform powered by blockchain technology, today announced that it will be investing up to an estimated USD $1.5 million for 18 businesses based in rural Brazil. The recipients are all locally-focused agricultural cooperatives.
“We’re so excited to be investing in our first 18 businesses in Brazil. This is the first step in mobilizing on-the-ground support to build economic sustainability in underbanked communities,” said Moeda CEO Taynah Reis. Moeda’s pilot program kicks off in Reis’s home country of Brazil.
The CEO’s family has been intimately involved in small business- and cooperative-based loans for decades. “We’re looking forward to putting the Moeda concept into action to directly improve local economies and to empower these hard-working people.”
Moeda was co-founded by Reis along with Isa Yu, Athena Diaconis, Alex Todaro, and Brad Chun in 2017 following a U.N. hackathon where the Moeda business model was the winning entry. The conference tasked global innovators with brainstorming ways in which to further the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Following the hackathon, the Moeda team raised $20 million in an initial coin offering (ICO). A portion of the ICO proceeds were allocated to a revolving fund for social impact investments. Investors in Moeda’s MDA tokens are given access to these same projects, as well as future projects.
According to Reis, Moeda’s use of blockchain
and cryptocurrency helps solve some of the challenges that microfinance often encounters: lack of transparency, middlemen, and inefficiency. Blockchain in particular allows for the creation of trustworthy, immutable records, and operational efficiencies that ultimately translate to a lower cost of lending.
In its first round of financing announced today, Moeda will invest in 18 companies who fulfill at least one of the UN’s SDG goals and directly give back to its local economy. The companies will be financed via a partnership between Moeda and Unicafes, a national organizing body of cooperatives in Brazil. Investment per project is based on need, and ranges from USD $6,000 to $520,000. This funding will be used for core components of the companies — such as construction of food processing facilities and equipment, solar panels, refrigerated transportation, and working capital. An estimated 4,400 Brazilians will directly benefit from this funding.
Examples of the selected projects to be funded include:
- Vale do Itajaí Family Farming Cooperative in Dona Emma, Santa Caterina will receive USD $520,000 for the building of a bio-factory for organic agro-ecological production. The project will directly benefit more than 250 local residents.
- Lebon Regis Family Farms Cooperative in Lebon Regis, Santa Caterina will receive USD $205,000 in order to construct, equip, and provide working capital for a women-owned bakery.
- The Central do Cerrado Cooperative Ltd in Brasilia, Distrito Federal will receive USD $46,000 to build a supply chain and provide working capital for bakery products. The project should benefit more than 2,300 local residents.
Founded in April 2017, Moeda is the first cooperative lending platform powered by blockchain technology. Moeda’s mission, however, is a timeless one: to enable sustainable growth for underfunded entrepreneurs worldwide.