The Next 4 Billion: Market Size and Business Strategy at the Base of the Pyramid is a timely and valuable contribution by the team of WRI (Allen L. Hammond, William J. Kramer, Robert S. Katz, Julia T. Tran, Courtland Walker). This reports gives a detailed economic portrait of the BOP based on recorded incomes and expenditures and an overview of sector-specific business strategies from successful enterprises operating in the BOP markets. It is full of data and information that is needed for the private sector which is currently increasing its engagement to this large segment.
A story that came to our attention through the courtesy of Mark Straub.
Sequoia Capital, the famous venture capital firm for its early stage investments in Google, Yahoo, Paypal, YouTube and others leads the $11.5mn equity investment in SKS Microfinance, one of the fastest growing microfinance institutions in the world. According to the press lease of SKS Microfinance, Sequoia Capital is the lead investor with $6.5mn. Other investors include Unitus Equity Fund, Vinod Khosla, Ravi Reddy, and Odyssey Capital.The funds will provide the stimulus that SKS needs to achieve its ambitious goal to provide financial services to over 5 million poor families by 2010. Another example of convergence in the investment world.