Startups da Amazônia aceleradas pela AMAZ, apoiada pelo Fundo Vale
Photo (credit Rodrigo Duarte/AMAZ)

Learn about the five businesses that will be accelerated and invested in by AMAZ, an impact accelerator in the Amazon supported by Fundo Vale. They represent a variety of projects, spanning the restoration of degraded pasture lands to the management of social and biological diversity products and Web 3.0 solutions for impact businesses.

During the Second Amazon Impact Investing and Sustainable Business Festival (FIINSA) in Manaus, held in the last week of November, the Amazon Impact Accelerator (AMAZ) carried out the final phase of its process to select five businesses to join its portfolio in 2023. A few days later, the five selected impact businesses were announced: Cumbaru, Ekilibre, Impacta Finance, Manawara and Mazô Maná. Four of them are based in the Amazon region and the fifth is located in São Paulo. They operate in different areas, including the restoration of degraded pasture land through agro-silvopastoral systems, the management of social and biological diversity products, the manufacture of natural vegan cosmetics, the production of vegan functional foods and candies using Amazonian raw materials, decentralized finance and Web 3.0 solutions for impact businesses.

Each business will receive an initial investment of R$200,000 and a further investment may occur at the end of the acceleration stage. The acceleration journey will last approximately six months and it is formatted in line with the collective and individual needs of the group, jointly planned by the AMAZ team and the entrepreneurs.

Here are the approximate potential impacts of the selected businesses over the next five to 10 years:

  • More than 1 million hectares of forest preserved;
  • Development of more than 15 Amazon value chains;
  • 2,000 hectares of forest restored;
  • Hundreds of community suppliers benefited;
  • Additional R$50 million of investment in Amazon region.

These ventures have diversified the accelerator’s portfolio, which is focused on looking for businesses that are testing innovative concepts. According to Rafael Ribeiro, an investment analyst at AMAZ, the recent selection process was more demanding in order to expand the diversity of business profiles. “In terms of scale, the new companies in our portfolio have a smaller reach, but at the same time they are involved in new emerging markets, such as decentralized finance, the restoration of pasture areas, sustainable livestock and, of course, food. These are extremely important areas for AMAZ to focus on. We believe that these projects have great potential to boost the Amazon’s social and biological diversity in the coming years.”

Fundo Vale is one of AMAZ’s founding financial backers and it has participated in this initiative since it was conceived, together with the Amazon Conservation and Sustainable Development Institute (IDESAM), Partners for the Amazon, Humanize Institute, Climate and Society Institute, JBS Amazon Fund and Good Energies Foundation. AMAZ’s first phase of operations will run for 10 years, from 2021 to 2030, and it involves annual contests to select new businesses. According to Márcia Soares, Fundo Vale’s partnership leader, AMAZ has made a visible difference to the Amazon’s impact ecosystem. “Today there are other initiatives emerging, but AMAZ was one of the pioneers and it has grown more mature in every acceleration round. Fundo Vale understands that we will need many organizations like AMAZ, with different profiles, to ensure that the Amazon bioeconomy becomes of significance to the people who live there and to forest conservation,” she says.

Learn about the selected startups

Cumbaru – Located in Cuiabá, Mato Grosso, this business is restoring degraded pasture land by implementing agro-silvopastoral systems and sustainably making social and biological diversity products. It is focused on three main product chains: Dipteryx alata trees, beef calves and milk production. It works in partnership with small and medium rural producers, enabling access to resources and technical assistance to improve the productive efficiency of degraded areas and reduce deforestation pressure.

Ekilibre Amazônia – Located in Santarém, Pará, this vegan natural cosmetics brand has been on the market for 10 years, helping forests remain standing. Its products are between 90% and 96% made of forest inputs, sustainably extracted by communities in western Pará.

Impacta Finance – Located in Jundiaí, São Paulo, this is a startup offering disruptive solutions focused on accelerating the “3D economy” (digital, decentralized and decarbonized) through blockchain technology. The company designs Web 3 projects to allow impact businesses to turn their social and environmental interventions into digital assets, which can be presented to global investors through a regenerative finance index.

Manawara – Located in Manaus, Amazonas, this is a brand of vegan, gluten-free and lactose-free candies made from Amazonian raw materials. It has a portfolio of gummy candies, cookies, cereals and nuts. It has a rapid growth strategy for the coming years, which entails structuring raw material suppliers based on agroforestry and extractive production.

Mazô Maná – Located in Altamira, Pará, this business aims to produce and sell functional foods using inputs supplied by sustainable and community extractive producers in the Amazon, encompassing both the domestic market and exports. Its business model also involves the development of a payment for environmental services platform.