Social venture capital firm Patamar Capital, formerly known as Unitus Impact, recently invested an undisclosed amount in Vietnam-based startup Canal Circle that provides tech solutions to financial institutions looking to target mass market/low income communities. The firm has also invested in the Phillipines-based intelligent automation platform Aiah.
According to its partner Dondi Hananto, Patamar Capital has so far invested in six deals from its women-focussed SME impact fund launched in 2017 – the latest ones being closed in June.
Patamar Capital, headquartered in San Francisco, and with offices in California, India, Indonesia and Vietnam, collaborated with Australia’s Investing in Women initiative to launch the fund with a corpus of $1.5- million.
While both Canal Circle and Aiah have strong representation of women in their key management roles, the fund’s other portfolio companies include two Indonesian startups Sayurbox and Dana Cita, besides Malaysia’s Supahands, and Vietnam’s largest digital platform JupViec.
“Investing in a Women Fund is our way to learn and practice gender lens investing principles, and we have now incorporated gender lens into our new fund. We truly believe gender lens is not just a politically-correct thing to do by counting the number of women involved (female entrepreneurs, board members, etc), but it will help us make better investment decisions”.
While Sayurbox is a tech-supported fresh produce distribution platform, which predominantly has a large customer base comprising women, Dana Cita is student loan startup which caters to both men and women alike. The former recently made headlines when Indonesian e-commerce Tokopedia evinced interest to acquire it. DEALSTREETASIA reported about the development on May 20.
Supahands and JupViec, on the other hand, work extensively with women – the former provides data sets for machine learning.
“It’s not just about investing in women entrepreneurs. Yes, having more balance of women entrepreneurs in our portfolio company is important, but there’s a lot more to that,” said Hananto.
Industry sources indicate that Patamar has invested around $250,000 in each of these seed deals, and is understood to have joined the board of some of these startups.
Patamar Capital specialises in early-stage and Series A investments. Through its women-focused fund, it focuses on markets such as Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Recently, the early-stage impact investor announced a partnership with Vulpes Investment Management Pte Ltd (Vulpes) for the Singapore fund management of its new vehicle, Patamar Fund II, LP. The new fund, which has a target of $150 million, received commitments from 27 investors since its launch in May. It expects to back 20-25 early and growth-stage startups in South and Southeast Asia.