DFC allocates $30m to Openspace fund, $372m for other Asia investments

Photo by Tran Phu on Unsplash

The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has approved $402 million in new investments this quarter for the Asian region, including a $30 million commitment to a fund managed by Openspace Ventures.

According to a statement, the American development bank approved nearly $873 million in new investments for advancing global COVID-19 responses, promoting gender equity and facilitating development in low and lower-middle-income countries.

DFC invests across sectors including energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure, and technology. It also provides financing for small businesses and women entrepreneurs to create jobs in emerging markets.

Openspace Ventures

According to a DFC disclosure, its board of directors approved an investment of up to $30 million in Openspace Ventures Plus, a later-stage venture capital fund that seeks to address the funding gap encountered by Southeast Asia-based technology companies while raising Series C and Series D funding rounds.

DFC listed the target corpus of the OSV+ fund as $200 million, lower than a $300 million target reported in 2019. DealStreetAsia had reported in March that the Southeast Asian venture capital firm was nearing the fund’s first close in the coming months.

OSV+ will allow the VC firm’s limited partners to co-invest and double down on select companies in its early-stage portfolio. The fund will focus on investments in fintech, healthtech, and other tech-enabled delivery of services in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

OSV+ has already begun deploying, making its first investment in AI-based data analytics company Biofourmis, which raised a $100-million Series C round last September led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2.

Openspace is an early investor in notable firms such as Gojek, FinAccel, Halodoc and Love Bonito.

DFC’s investments in India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam

DFC has also approved several other equity investments and loans in India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

In India, DFC has approved an equity commitment of up to $20 million in Chiratae Advisors Company, a private equity fund investing in healthtech, fintech, agritech, consumer media, deep tech and software solutions in India.

A series of funding mortgages were also approved in India, including a $30 million facility for India Shelter Finance Corporation supporting low-income women borrowers; a $10 million loan to AryaDhan Financial Solutions to support commodity backed post-harvest loans for Indian micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs); and a $50 million financing for Motilal Oswal Home Finance to provide long-term funding for low-income mortgages.

In Sri Lanka, $150 million was loaned to DFCC Bank PLC to support Sri Lankan MSMEs, and a further $75 million to the National Development Bank PLC to support women-owned SMEs in the country.

In Vietnam, DFC approved $37 million in financing for Fulbright University Vietnam (FUV) Corporation to support the building of a new campus in Ho Chi Minh city. FUV is Vietnam’s first independent, private and non-profit liberal arts university. It was licensed in 2016 with the backing of the US government.

“The new investments approved this quarter by DFC’s Board of Directors will advance development and allow us to reach underserved communities around the world. DFC’s investments will continue to tackle the most pressing issues facing the developing world, including the COVID-19 pandemic, gender inequality, and food insecurity,” said DFC acting CEO Dev Jagadesan.

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.