Heritas Capital’s Asia Impact First Fund invests SGD 2M catalytic growth capital into Bettr Group, a leading Singapore-based social enterprise supporting marginalised women and youth-at-risk, to scale its business and impact
Asia’s impact investment platform Heritas Capital, through its newly launched Asia Impact First Fund (AIFF) with DBS Foundation as its knowledge partner, has made a SGD 2M investment into Bettr Group, a leading social enterprise operating a specialty coffee and beverage business in Singapore which prioritises people, profit and planet and has a robust track record of improving the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable groups in the community. The catalytic growth capital will support both business expansion and Bettr’s social programmes with the aim to triple the beneficiaries served annually, in collaboration with its ecosystem of social and corporate partners.
Bettr Group was founded in 2011 and prides itself as the first B-Corporation in SouthEast Asia. It has been supported through the years by many like-minded partners and philanthropy funders. This includes DBS Foundation, which has supported the company since 2015 through grant funding, mentorship, and business opportunities, among others. Through proprietary programmes which impart professional expertise and life management skills, the company leverages the trend of rising specialty coffee consumption to support marginalised women and youth-at-risk. Bettr also supports small-holder coffee farmers and promotes responsible sourcing and sustainable farming practices. With this successful fundraise from Heritas Capital, Bettr is poised to expand its training programmes to upskill those in the marginalised community and expand its business enabling Bettr to employ more staff from marginalised communities – including single mothers, youth-at-risk and ex-offenders.
“At Bettr, we have used our business as a force for good for over a decade and have strived to produce sustainable financial performance while creating tangible long-term impact on lives. We are excited to partner Heritas through AIFF to expand our vision of social businesses being key actors in the economy to create dual business and impact solutions for an increasingly complex world. We intend to solidify our footprint in Singapore, support more beneficiaries through education and inclusive employment, and eventually scale into the region,” said Ms. Pamela Chng, CEO and founder of Bettr Group.
“Bettr is testament to the fact that it is possible to have a positive impact on society while building a sustainable business at the same time. At DBS Foundation, we are privileged to have been a partner on their journey for almost a decade now, and to witness the lasting change they have brought to the lives of many through their programmes. We believe Bettr represents a new generation of businesses that can help address pressing societal issues in our midst and drive systemic change from the ground up, and look forward to the potential impact they’ll be creating with this latest capital injection from the AIFF, ” said Ms Karen Ngui, DBS Group Head of Strategic Marketing and Communications and DBS Foundation Board Member.
“Since its founding, Bettr Group’s founders have demonstrated a strong commitment towards a social mission to deliver a consistent track record in improving the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable communities in Singapore. Heritas Capital’s Asia Impact First Fund is pleased to provide Bettr Group with catalytic growth capital and strategic support for its next phase of impactful business transformation”, said Ms. Janet Chia, Managing Director and Head of Private Equity at Heritas Capital. Ms. Janet Chia will also be joining the Board of Directors of Bettr Group.
“Following the successful first close of Heritas Capital’s Asia Impact First Fund (AIFF) in early 2023 with DBS Bank as anchor investor, we are pleased to now deploy impact-first growth funding for Bettr Group’s to scale its business sustainably and enhance the well-being of local communities. Beyond impact-first equity investing into promising and fast growing social enterprises such as Bettr Group, Heritas seeks to partner like-minded corporates, foundations, family offices and philanthropic funders to create blended finance structures and mentorship programmes in support of impactful growth enterprises,” said Mr. Chik Wai Chiew, CEO and Executive Director of Heritas Capital.
About Asia Impact First Fund
Asia Impact First Fund seeks to address significant social and environmental challenges in Asia, focusing on two impact themes, namely “Improving Lives and Livelihoods” and “Protecting the Environment”. AIFF will provide growth capital to 10 to 15 innovative and high-growth social enterprises across Asia 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 announced the successful first close in March 2023 of over USD20M, with commitment from anchor investor DBS Bank, and like-minded impact-focused family offices, foundations, corporates and high-net-worth individuals including Tsao Family Office, IMC Group, Ishk Tolaram Foundation, ANF Family Office, Mr Pang Sze Khai (Chairman of Octava Foundation and Octava Pte Ltd), and others.
About Bettr Group
Bettr Group is one of the largest impact-driven coffee companies in Singapore, and the first B Corporation in SouthEast Asia. Bettr Academy is a professionally certified coffee and beverage academy, and Bettr Coffee operates coffee bars and a roastery in Singapore. Bettr was recently Singapore’s representative winner in the 2023 ASEAN Inclusive Business Awards and champion in the 2022 President’s Volunteerism & Philanthropy Awards (PVPA), Small & Medium enterprise category.
About Heritas Capital
Heritas Capital is a Singapore-based private equity and venture capital investment firm that invests in fast-growing 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.
About DBS Foundation
The DBS Foundation is committed to uplifting lives and livelihoods by igniting change in businesses and communities.
Since 2014, the DBS Foundation has been championing social enterprises in Asia, businesses that are for profit, and impact. The Business for Impact chapter now catalyses the growth of innovative, purpose-driven businesses, including SMEs, designed to address pressing issues facing our planet and society.
In 2022, the DBS Foundation raised the bar with the formation of a new Community Impact chapter, to equip the underserved with digital and financial literacy skills to face the future with confidence, and enable communities to be more food secure and resilient. Our vision is to spark collective action, together with our partners and DBS People of Purpose, to help build a better world for generations today and tomorrow. For more information, please visit: www.dbs.com/dbsfoundation.