Innovative Financial Intermediaries Program
Click here to use the IFIP Eligibility Self-Screener.
Click here to view Frequently Asked Questions.
Click here to view U.S. Connection Requirements for OPIC-Supported Projects.


U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation
The U.S. Government's Development Finance Institution
Innovative Financial Intermediaries Program

Over its 40+ year history, OPIC has demonstrated its ability to respond to market demands that the private sector has been unable to support entirely on its own. Political risk insurance, extended loan maturities, private equity funds, and creative financing structures such as non-bank financial intermediaries and microfinance institutions show OPIC’s leading and adaptive approach to mobilizing private investment in developing markets.

What is IFIP?

In recent years, OPIC has experienced increased demand for financing from managers of investment vehicles that, due to their smaller size and/or specialist strategies, were often unsuccessful in OPIC’s mainstream calls for fund proposals. Similarly, because these strategies were structured as pooled investment vehicles, they were ineligible for the direct lending product offered by the Agency’s Small and Medium Enterprise Finance department.

To respond to this demand, OPIC launched the Innovative Financial Intermediaries Program (IFIP) in November 2013. IFIP is a $500 million program to support smaller-scale financial intermediaries/vehicles investing in enterprises in OPIC-eligible countries, with a specific focus on impact and innovation. IFIP has enabled OPIC to develop a process to consider these unique, smaller structures and respond more effectively to them while leveraging the expertise and best practices within the Agency’s Finance and Investment Funds departments.


As with all OPIC projects, investments made through this program will be required to comply with OPIC’s U.S. investment eligibility requirements, as well as its environmental, social, worker rights, and U.S. effects standards and criteria.

The chart below provides key information on eligible structures for IFIP; however, OPIC strongly recommends that potential applicants use the IFIP Eligibility Self-Screener to determine if their proposed vehicle meets the minimum requirements for application to IFIP.

IFIP-Eligible Structures Maximum Fund Capitalization* OPIC Commitment Description
Small Equity Funds $100M Up to 1/3 of total fund capitalization; capped at $33.3M Funds that make equity and equity-like investments, including mezzanine and subordinated debt, into portfolio companies.
Hybrid Funds and Debt Funds $100M Up to 2/3 of total fund capitalization**; capped at $50M Includes, inter alia, funds that make investments into portfolio companies in the form of: both debt and equity; solely senior debt; or both senior and subordinated debt.
Non-Bank Financial Institutions and Intermediaries No Limit Up to 1/3 of total fund capitalization (equity-focused NBFIs) and up to 2/3 (debt-focused NBFIs); capped at $50M Non-Bank Financial Institutions and Intermediaries deploying 25% or more of their capital as equity investments into portfolio companies. Or, any Non-Bank Financial Institution/Intermediary with fund-like features.
Hybrid Microfinance Investment Vehicles (MIVs) No Limit Up to 2/3 of total fund capitalization**; capped at $50M MIVs investing 25% or more of their total portfolio as equity.

* Including OPIC’s participation

** The level of financing that OPIC will consider is largely commensurate with the risk of the investment strategy of the fund, in terms of forms of capital the fund will deploy and the target portfolio composition. Generally, the higher end of the range will be considered for funds investing a higher level of debt than equity.

Evaluation Criteria

Application submissions will be evaluated on a range of criteria, including the following:

Fund Strategy Management Team Track Record Fundraising Governance Impact Potential
  • Clarity of Investment Objectives
  • Market Opportunity
  • Pipeline of Opportunities
  • Innovation
  • Years of Relevant Experience
  • Team Composition
  • Years Working Together
  • Relationships & Resources
  • Fund Manager & Investment Team Deal History
  • Value Created
  • Capital Commitments to Date
  • Demonstrable Funding Pipeline
  • Previous Fundraising Track Record
  • Compensation, Carry
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • GP Commitment
  • Impact Intent
  • Target Population
  • Scalability

IFIP Application Process

The application process involves submission of a:

  Response to the application questionnaire (required)
  Pitch book (required)
  Diagram of proposed fund/vehicle structure and of how OPIC’s financing will flow through the structure (required)
  Financial model (optional)

OPIC accepts proposals on an ongoing basis and reviews them quarterly with the assistance of an external investment advisor.

To begin the application process, please create an account and complete and submit the IFIP questionnaire along with the required supporting materials.

The next quarterly deadline is July 31, 2017.

After reviewing the FAQs, if you have any questions regarding the Innovative Financial Intermediaries Program, please contact Gary Colyar at

OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds.

Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 150 countries worldwide.