Esther was launched in 2016 with the vision of making a positive impact on the Caribbean business landscape by supporting companies in a way that focuses on the realities of the Caribbean.
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Venture Capital for micro, small, medium sized enterprises
We are mindful of the facts of our size, positioning, legal systems and cultural wealth. We believe the Caribbean has advantages that only a Caribbean Fund with global connections can truly take advantage of so as to help Caribbean businesses to scale profitably.
Esther is an early stage venture capital firm focused on accelerating innovative Caribbean enterprises in the Technology and Consumer sectors.
We are first money-in institutional investors in companies. We help them from the earliest stages of business development through to successful exit.
We believe in building strong sustainable relationships. We believe in collaboration and mutuality.
We work to build a synergistic team-driven approach to investing, with each company in our portfolio always receiving the dedicated attention of two partners.
The relationship we nurture with each of our entrepreneurs is built on respect, integrity and trust. We understand that building great companies can take a long time, and Esther is committed to a set of principles that stays constant over the long term.
The Investment Process
It’s always best to reach out to us through a mutual connection. Introductions and strong recommendations help in this business. Feel free, though, to introduce yourself. We are open to connecting with founders and innovators.
Send Us Details
Send us an investor deck (10-15 slides) summarizing the opportunity (in no particular order): product vision, inspiration for the idea, market potential, team, ecosystem/competition, fundraising specifics, etc. If you have an alpha or a prototype, allow us access so we can test it ourselves or point us to a video featuring your product.
We will take a first pass look at your material to establish if the opportunity meets our core criteria: sectors, geography, stage, size of the investment. We will move quickly to assess with you if there is any risk of competition or overlap. Given our active involvement with our companies – especially at the early stage, we avoid any overlap or risk of conflict of interest at the time of the investment
Meet the Team
If we think there is potential for collaboration, we will invite you to visit us. Typically, you will have an initial meeting with one member of our team.
Successful investor meetings will lead to additional conversations with the remainder of our team (you’ll meet everyone!), contacts with (non-competing) experts in our network, reference checks, etc. One of the goals of our diligence cycle is spending time together to make sure that we have “compatible personalities” – most of our companies will spend 5 to 7 years in the portfolio, so a great personal relationship is paramount. We encourage you to go through the same level of due diligence on us. We are happy to make any of our existing or former CEOs available to you as potential references.
If everything checks out (for both sides), we’ll talk terms. If the discussion is satisfactory to both sides, we’ll commit to your round and will invest once the legal documents have been drafted by your counsel and reviewed by the law firm representing the investors.
This overall process typically takes two to three months to wrap up, but we have occasionally made investment decisions faster when the situation required it. We try to respond to most of the opportunities we receive.
Notes Vs. Equity
We are often asked if we “do” convertible notes, the answer is yes. We vastly prefer equity rounds, but we’ll agree to convertible notes provided that they include a agreement on the valuation of the company at the time of the investment and setting that price as the maximum price we’ll pay for our equity when our investment converts. We don’t sign NDAs for an initial meeting.