ADB raising $50m for SDG-focused debut venture fund

Aerial view of ADB headquarters. Source: ADB's Flickr stream

Manila-headquartered Asian Development Bank (ADB) is raising $50 million for its debut fund that will invest in startups offering impact technology solutions that contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Asia and the Pacific.

ADB Ventures Investment Fund 1 is the anchor trust fund of ADB Ventures, the newly-established venture platform of the regional lender. The fund will mainly invest in early-stage startups and focus on companies with solutions that can address climate change and empower women.

ADB Ventures Investment Fund 1 will have a 17-year fund life, allowing the lender to invest patient capital into cleantech, finch, agricultural technology, and health technology solutions, according to a statement.

The launch of ADB Ventures and the debut fund confirms DealStreetAsia’s report in May that quoted an ADB executive.

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

“ADB Ventures will help bring these solutions to market by leveraging our extensive operational networks and filling the risk capital gap facing innovative early-stage companies in developing Asia and the Pacific, particularly smaller and frontier markets,” Barrow said.

The debut fund is expected to begin operations in the second quarter of this year, aiming, among others, to mobilize private capital through co-investing with private sector investors. It will be augmented by a three-year, $12-million technical assistance program that will support impact technology startups.

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

The establishment of ADB Ventures comes less than a month after a coalition of private and public sector organisations, including United Nations entities and private equity firms, launched SDG500, a new investment platform that seeks to invest $500 million in businesses in Asia and other emerging markets.

The financing gap to achieve SDGs by 2030 in developing countries is estimated to be $2.5 trillion per year, according to a statement.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.