Heritas Capital announces the launch of US$50 million Asia Impact First Fund to scale innovative and high-growth social enterprises across Asia for greater social and environmental impact
Heritas Capital1 announces the launch of Asia Impact First Fund (AIFF), with a proposed fund size of US$50 million, to back 10 to 15 innovative and high-growth social enterprises across Asia. AIFF will provide growth capital to social enterprises with a clear and demonstrated social and/or environmental impact, and viable business growth plans, to scale their double bottom line of impact and financial profitability.
AIFF seeks to address significant social and environmental challenges in Asia, focusing on two impact themes, namely “Improving Lives and Livelihoods” and “Protecting the Environment”, and aims to achieve intentional objectives that include providing access to affordable, quality education, healthcare, nutritious food, inclusive employment opportunities; reducing carbon footprint; managing and recycling waste; enhancing sustainability of food production and supply chains etc.
AIFF is the latest sub-fund set up under Heritas VCC, following the launches of Heritas Venture Fund II and Heritas Growth Fund III in 2021, as part of Heritas’ pan-Asia leading multi-fund impact investment platform. AIFF adopts an impact-first approach to back select social enterprises to grow their social and/or environmental impact, whilst generating fair market returns to investors. Market conditions permitting, AIFF plans to achieve its first close by end-2022 to promptly address the underserved funding needs of social enterprises, in view of the increasingly challenging business environment.
A series of reports2 by British Council on the state of social enterprises estimates that there are as many as 3 million social enterprises across Southeast Asia and India. These social enterprises tend to be innovative, young, and small businesses set up in the recent years and are looking to grow. Many founders are young between 25 to 44 years old, and they tend to be more gender-inclusive in hiring, with a higher percentage of female staff both full-time and part-time than other businesses more widely. However, more than 90% of the social enterprises surveyed in the reports face financing constraints, especially barriers to accessing investors, who are essential funders to help them grow beyond grant financing. Recognizing that recent funding conditions have deteriorated in line with a slowing global economy, AIFF seeks to provide catalytic funding to support social enterprises in their business and impact growth, hence sustaining and growing their beneficiary base.
AIFF will leverage on Heritas Capital’s track record of making impact investments across Asia, where Heritas-backed portfolio companies have been successful in scaling business and impact. They have also shown growth and resilience throughout the pandemic. Examples include Alchemy Foodtech, Cakap and ConveGenius which have successfully further their impact in the respective fields of health foodtech and education across Singapore, Indonesia and India respectively, driving robust inclusive growth that benefits their respective communities. Heritas Capital’s portfolio companies have also touched millions of lives across Asia, providing access to affordable, quality healthcare and education, as well as healthier and more nutritious meals for special needs such as diabetes and dysphagia. More information of Heritas Capital’s impact journey can be found in the FY2021 annual impact report.
“AIFF is the latest fund under Heritas Capital’s multi-fund impact investment platform, uniquely positioned to back social enterprises looking for patient, catalytic capital to grow and scale their business and impact. Heritas Capital aims to identify and nurture promising social enterprises to become the next generation leading businesses-for-good, and to catalyze a vibrant social enterprise ecosystem across Asia. At a time when the world faces rapid discontinuous change as well as unprecedented social and environment challenges, we believe this is the exact right moment for AIFF and its like-minded impact investors to direct their stewardship and capital towards supporting purposeful and responsible businesses,” said Chik Wai Chiew, CEO and Executive Director at Heritas Capital.
About Heritas Capital
Heritas Capital is a Singapore-based private equity and venture capital investment firm, building a multi-fund impact investment platform that invests in companies across the healthcare, education, environment, and technology sectors. Guided by its investment philosophy, “Invest with Purpose, Impact Across Generations”, Heritas Capital backs innovative companies to become emerging champions and drive inclusive growth that improves the lives of local communities and the environment while delivering sustainable returns to investors. Heritas Capital’s impact-in-action platform Heritas Cares is an initiative to raise awareness of unmet social needs and to catalyse positive impact to the community through partnerships with its portfolio companies for the benefit of the local communities in which it operates.
1 Heritas Capital, as the Investment Manager of AIFF and a Licensed Fund Management Company, can only serve accredited investors and institutional investors.
2 Examples of the reports include: The state of social enterprise in Bangladesh, Ghana, India and Pakistan; The state of social enterprise in South East Asia; The state of social enterprise in Singapore