Publications: Disruptive Technologies and Venture Capital

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May 16, 2023

Inclusive Distribution and Retail: Women Entrepreneurs using E-Commerce in Egypt

This analysis shares the results of a survey of micro, small, and medium-sized (MSME) retailers in Cairo, Egypt that use the MaxAB e-commerce platform. The survey was conducted from December 2021 to January 2022 by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and MaxAB, with the support of the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) and the government of the Netherlands.

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Mar 8, 2022

Creating Markets in Thailand: Country Private Sector Diagnostic

The Thailand Country Private Sector Diagnostic (CPSD) provides IFC and World Bank analysis of growth and investment opportunities, constraints, and policy recommendations.

English | 164 pages | 2022 IFC

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Feb 10, 2022

AI-Enabled Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)—The Next Frontier for Global SaaS Start-Ups from India

This report, developed by IFC and Stellaris, examines the growing potential of India’s AI-led software as a service (SaaS) start-ups and analyzes the role that the country, which is already a leader in the global software ecosystem, can play in an AI-led future. India is well-positioned to be at the forefront of the AI revolution. By 2030, AI applications and services together have the potential to create $500 billion of market value and almost 5 million jobs. The report is based on an industry-wide study and insights from the AI4Biz Challenge, organized to identify and recognize groundbreaking, early-stage Indian AI SaaS companies.

English | 80 Pages | IFC 2022

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Nov 30, 2021

Digital Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Central America

In collaboration with the Regional Center for the Promotion of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (CENPROMYPE), IFC conducted a study that evaluated the digital ecosystem within Central America.

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Nov 18, 2021

Municipal Broadband Networks—Opportunities, Business Models, Challenges, and Case Studies

The accelerated use of digital services during the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of high-speed Internet access. Yet a large share of adults in emerging markets still live in cities where the availability of high-speed Internet is limited. There is a strong case to be made for municipal broadband networks, which are fully or partially facilitated, built, operated, or financed by local governments, often in partnership with the private sector. There are three basic models for creating and operating these networks, and every network must work in the unique context of the city it will serve. But if they are well implemented, these models can offer digital access to city residents, help close the digital divide, and create opportunities for private sector players in both advanced and emerging markets.

English | 8 Pages—November—Note 107 | IFC 2021

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Oct 28, 2021

Financing Deep Tech

Deep tech companies—those built on advances in biotechnology, robotics, electronics, artificial intelligence, and other advanced technologies—aim to solve complex social and environmental challenges. Today the majority of deep tech companies are being launched in developed countries, yet the solutions they can provide are applicable globally. Many of these solutions are especially critical to emerging markets, as the intractable challenges of climate, health, and connectivity, among other issues, disproportionately affect these nations. Addressing these challenges is a strategic priority for development finance institutions and governments worldwide, so financing deep tech companies and boosting deep tech ecosystems in order to deliver new solutions globally is a pressing matter. Doing so, however, requires substantial capital and carries a higher degree of risk than ordinary venture investments. This note examines the process of financing a deep tech company, including the benefits an

English | 8 Pages—October—Special Note 1 | IFC 2021

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May 26, 2021

Women and e-commerce in Southeast Asia

Across the globe, e-commerce is thriving. In Southeast Asia, the e-commerce market has tripled in size since 2015, and it is expected to triple again by 2025. Two new IFC reports show that this growth could be even higher if we invest in women entrepreneurs on e-commerce platforms.

English | IFC 2021

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May 26, 2021

Women and e-commerce in Africa

Across the globe, e-commerce is thriving. In Africa, the number of online shoppers has increased by an average of 18 percent every year since 2014, with similar growth anticipated over the next decade. IFC’s latest report shows that this growth could be even higher if we invest in the women entrepreneurs on e-commerce platforms.

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Apr 28, 2021

Enabling Private Investment in 5G Connectivity in Emerging Markets—An Assessment of Challenges and Policy Options

This note proposes a high-level framework to assess challenges and policy options to enabling private sector-led investment in 5G connectivity in emerging markets. 5G is the latest mobile network technology and it has the potential to provide high-speed Internet connectivity and enable digital transformation across multiple sectors of an economy. The proposed framework leverages industry data to articulate the digital divide and benchmark the enabling environment for 5G connectivity in emerging markets. The note concludes with recommendations on policy options and business strategies, drawing from early experiences in advanced markets and major opportunities and challenges in emerging markets.

English | 8 pages — April —Note 102 | IFC 2021

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Mar 19, 2021

Artificial Intelligence in Emerging Markets

The latest trends in AI and how investors, clients, and governments can harness its full potential in emerging markets while minimizing its risks is explored.

English | 148 pages | IFC 2021

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Mar 8, 2021

How Firms Are Responding And Adapting During COVID-19 And Recovery

The COVID-19 crisis has disproportionately affected the most vulnerable firms and individuals in emerging markets, especially women and low-income populations. These groups faced significant challenges to growth and prosperity before the pandemic, and COVID-19 has only exacerbated their plights, resulting in even wider global inequities, including a further increase in global financial and digital divides. The private sector has already begun to respond to the crisis—in sectors such as digital infrastructure, trade, power, and tourism, and with methods that cut across sectors, such as inclusive business models, disruptive technologies, social bonds, and private equity. This proves that businesses can play a vital role in amplifying the public and humanitarian response to the crisis, while supporting recovery and driving strategic growth going forward, and setting the stage for “building back better” post crisis. This report highlights opportunities for businesses in emerging markets t

English | 136 pages | IFC 2021

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Nov 11, 2020

e-Conomy Africa 2020 - Africa’s $180 Billion Internet Economy Future

Africa’s Internet economy is transforming development on the continent by fostering economic opportunities, creating jobs, and providing innovative solutions to complex challenges, like access to healthcare, education, and finance.

English | 98 pages | Google and IFC

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Sep 30, 2020

Artificial Intelligence and Healthcare in Emerging Markets

Significant investments in health technology, including those using digital health and artificial intelligence, are expected to contribute to bridging the health service gap in emerging markets, given the potential of these new innovations to reach underserved patients. Many health-tech innovators are integrating AI into their product solutions, with early examples showing promise in improving diagnoses, reducing costs, and enabling access to remote health services.

English | 8 pages — September — Note 91 | IFC 2020

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Sep 28, 2020

The Impact of COVID-19 on Disruptive Technology Adoption in Emerging Markets

This note presents examples of how disruptive technologies have been employed in emerging markets during the COVID-19 crisis; discusses market trends that may heighten the role of disruptive technologies in emerging markets post crisis; and reviews risks to and opportunities of faster adoption of disruptive technologies in emerging markets.

English | 17 pages | 2020 IFC

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May 11, 2020

Case Study: Coursera

An Agile Company Partners with the Best Universities to Rapidly Scale Higher Education and Lifelong Learning

English | 32 pages | May 2020

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Feb 16, 2020

Venture Capital and the Gender Financing Gap: The Role of Accelerators

This report studies the steep differential between financing for male and female-led start-ups post-acceleration and finds perceived risk and investor bias are the most likely causes.

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Jan 8, 2020

Briefing Paper: Enabling Health Technology in Emerging Markets

A briefing paper from the IFC Health Technology Think Tank discussion at the 2019 Global Private Healthcare Conference

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Nov 6, 2019

How Artificial Intelligence is Making Transport Safer, Cleaner, More Reliable and Efficient in Emerging Markets

Transport in emerging markets often faces acute challenges due to poor infrastructure, growing populations, urbanization, and in some regions rising prosperity, which increases vehicle traffic, cargo volumes, and pollution. Artificial intelligence offers new solutions to these challenges by making market entry easier and allowing countries to reach underserved populations, creating markets and private sector investment opportunities associated with them.

English | 8 Pages - November - Note 75 | IFC 2019

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Oct 31, 2019

Bridging the Trust Gap: Blockchain’s Potential to Restore Trust in Artificial Intelligence in Support of New Business Models

Rapid increases in computing power and data generation have turned artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things into potent technologies that are rapidly gaining use in many areas of society and commerce, with significant potential benefits for economic growth and development. These innovative technologies face multiple obstacles to implementation and—particularly in the case of AI—a general wariness of their potential implications for human society. Fortunately, an integrated implementation of the three technologies may be a solution that can restore human trust in AI and blockchain applications, resulting in new business models that deliver data security and privacy, efficiency, and inclusion along with their many other benefits.

English | 8 Pages - October - Note 74 | IFC 2019

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Sep 18, 2019

Artificial Intelligence: Investment Trends and Selected Industry Uses

The global race to fund, develop, and acquire artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and start-ups is intensifying, with commercial uses for AI proliferating in advanced and emerging economies alike. AI could increase GDP growth in both advanced countries and emerging markets. In healthcare, diagnosis and drug discovery will benefit enormously from AI. In manufacturing, AI can help design better products in terms of functionality, quality, and cost, and improve predictive maintenance. The potential impact of AI on transportation and logistics goes far beyond automation and road safety to span the entire logistics chain. Yet with the exceptions of China and India, emerging markets have received only a modest share of global investment in this advanced technology, despite the fact that they may benefit more from AI implementation than advanced economies.

English | 8 Pages - September - Note 71 | IFC 2019

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Jun 27, 2019

Case Study: A Retail Approach to Diabetes Care

Clinicas del Azucar is disrupting existing models for treating diabetes through its one-stop-shop, convenient approach. Patients pay an affordable membership subscription that covers lab tests, screenings, lifestyle education and coaching. By integrating how it provides care, Clinicas is able to reduce the number of appointments patients need to manage their diabetes. More than 63 percent of patients have met their goals for maintaining blood sugar levels and have their diabetes under control, preventing often life-threatening complications. Clinicas’ model offers an approach that could revolutionize the way diabetes is treated in low- and middle-income countries. Learn more in our latest case study.

English | 26 pages | 2019 IFC

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Mar 7, 2019

Report: Moving Toward Gender Balance in Private Equity and Venture Capital

The study explores the link between financial returns and gender diversity; the lack of women in the industry; and steps needed to achieve gender balance. One of the key findings of the report is that private equity and venture capital funds with gender-balanced senior investment teams generated 10 percent to 20 percent higher returns compared with funds that have a majority of male or female leaders.

English | 137 pages | 2019 IFC

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Apr 5, 2018

Case Study: Byju's

How a Learning App is Promoting Deep Conceptual Understanding that is Improving Educational Outcomes in India.

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Apr 26, 2017


salauno’s mission is to “eliminate needless blindness in Mexico” by providing affordable and accessible eye care services to patients of all income levels. In the first five years since its founding in 2011, the company has provided eye care to over 230,000 people and grown from one surgical center in Mexico City into a network of ten mid-sized Diagnostic Centers with a staff of over 200, offering a range of services throughout the Mexico City Metropolitan Area and the broader Valley of Mexico. For more information on salauno visit their website at

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Sep 16, 2016


NephroCare Health Services Private Limited (NephroPlus) is a provider network of kidney dialysis services across 15 states in India. Founded in 2010, NephroPlus delivers these services in large metropolitan areas as well as underserved, small cities at prices that are 30 to 40 percent lower than hospitals. As of 2015, the company has 75 centers across India that service more than 6,000 patients and provide approximately 50,000 dialysis treatments each month. This case study is in the 2016 Built for Change report which features companies that are employing unique strategies to integrate people living at the base of the pyramid into the companies’ business operations.