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Venture platform to invest in impact technology start-ups

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), headquartered in Manila, recently approved the establishment of ADB Ventures, according to a recent press release.

The ADB Ventures is a new venture platform, which will support and invest in start-ups offering impact technology solutions that contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Asia and the Pacific.

According to ADB Director General for Private Sector Operations Mr Mike Barrow, the region is brimming with technology solutions to conserve energy, reduce waste, fight climate change, and deliver public services effectively.

The platform will help bring these solutions to market by levering on the Bank’s extensive operational networks and filling the risk capital cap being faced by innovative early-stage companies in developing Asia and the Pacific, especially smaller and frontier markets.

About the initiative

ADB Ventures Investment Fund 1 is the facility’s anchor trust fund.

It has a target size of US$ 50 million and is accepting contributions from multiple funding sources including bilateral and multilateral development partners.

It will mainly invest in early-stage start-ups and focus on companies with solutions that can address climate change and empower women.

The fund has a 17-year fund life, allowing the Bank to invest patient capital into cleantech, fintech, agricultural technology, and health technology solutions.

The Nordic Development Fund, Climate Investment Funds, and the Government of Australia funded project preparation for the ADB Ventures facility.

ADB Ventures Investment Fund 1 is expected to begin operations in the second quarter of 2020.

One of its main aims will be to mobilise private capital through co-investing with private sector investors.

The vision is for ADB Ventures to become the region’s largest impact technology platform, crowding in more than US$ 1 billion of risk capital to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

Technical assistance program

Unlike traditional venture capital funds, it is augmented by a three-year, US$ 12 million technical assistance program that will support impact technology start-ups through two main activities.

The first is ADB Ventures SEED, which is a grant program to validate and de-risk technology pilots and promote expansion into emerging markets that start-up companies might otherwise not prioritise.

The second is ADB Venture Lab, which is a suite of corporate innovation programs implemented in partnership with industry and leading accelerators for start-ups.

ADB Ventures will leverage on the Bank’s operational networks and industry expertise to generate technology pilot opportunities and support ADB Ventures Investment Fund 1 portfolio companies.

Initiatives across the globe

Funding is important if start-ups were to bring their great plans and ideas to fruition. OpenGov had previously reported on firms backing up tech start-ups that exhibit strong potential.

In 2018, a leading Singapore-based venture capital firm announced the opening of its Kuala Lumpur office and planned to invest an additional RM75 million (US$18 million) to help back Malaysian based start-ups.

The firm believed that Malaysia has the right combination of talent, diversity and potential to grow more tech high-value start-ups.

According to the company, Malaysia has strong fundamentals in place to sustainably grow its already-vigorous start-up scene, as it possesses the region’s highest rate of initial public offerings (IPOs) as well as high digital penetration.

Meanwhile, leading Thai corporations and investors had plans of marching to Silicon Valley in 2018 through a US-based deep tech venture dedicated to start-ups in order to empower Thailand’s economy.

The company mainly invests in series A funding, worth over TBH32.6 million (US$1 million) per deal, and aims for returns within 7-10 years, mostly in capital gains at a rate of 3-5 times.

Interesting start-ups need to have breakthrough technologies, scalability and an eye for larger markets overseas, according to the deep tech venture’s managing partner.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.