EcoEnterprises Fund & Sambazon

In 2017, Sambazon was named the top global seller of Açaí fruits in a current market with a size of 300,000 tons of Açaí fruit sales per year, which is expected to grow to 800,000 tons of sales per year until 2026. However, going back 18 years to when the Açaí fruit was not yet known in the international market and when Ryan Black, Jeremy Black, and Edmund Nichols decided to start the company, there was a need for frontier capital for a not-yet-proven business model.

This is why, in the following years, EcoEnterprises Fund played an essential role: By providing start-up capital in the form of both debt and equity installments they helped to develop and establish Sambazon’s first facility and their market set-up. The fund was built under the umbrella of The Nature Conservancy in order to create an increased cooperation with the private sector.

The fund’s focus on Latin America is based on the geographical proximity to the US and the potentially large impact due to the extremely high density of biodiversity, the development potential of rural areas, and finally the need of support of indigenous communities.

Sambazon’s business approach fit all the criteria of the fund from the beginning, as they are operating in the Brazilian Amazonas, a vulnerable though highly valuable ecosystem, located in a country with a developing economy that could sufficiently support a start-up, which generates social, environmental, and financial returns.
To view the full case study click here

Mineshita"Constructing a certified supply chain from scratch in the middle of the Amazon rainforest for a wild-harvested fruit was no small feat. But we saw an incredible opportunity that could generate long-term, healthy jobs while simultaneously protecting forest biodiversity.“
(Ryan Black, Sambazon Co-Founder)