Impact fund manager SEAF invests in PH cosmetics firm Ellana

Washington, DC-based Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF) has marked its first deal in the Philippines through its investment in cosmetics firm Ellana Cosmetics.

In a statement, SEAF said it has invested in Ellana Cosmetics, through its SEAF Women’s Opportunity Fund (SWOF), in a mix of structured debt and equity. The exact financial details of the investment, however, were not disclosed.

Started in 2008 by Theresa Buenaflor, Ellana Cosmetics manufactures and distributes non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and non-comedogenic products specifically catering to the requirements of Filipina and Southeast Asian skin types.

It sells over 200 SKUs, including products distributed into more than 70 outlets.

SEAF Investment Director Rowena Reyes said that the investment firm sees great potential in Ellana and how they have developed a community of loyal customers who value high-quality projects using natural ingredients and environmentally friendly packaging.

“[SEAF] was particularly impressed by Ellana’s distinctive hiring policies and training programs and foresee it as a great role model for women’s economic empowerment in the retail sector in the Philippines,” Reyes added.

SEAF said its partnership with Ellana Cosmetics will support the expansion of the firm’s retail outlets, increase its warehouse capacity, and implement management systems to run its growing operations more efficiently.

Ellana’s founder Buenaflor said the investment from SWOF will enable the cosmetics firm to accelerate its business expansion while strengthening its commitments to empowering women.

“We believe that beauty does more, and we make that happen through products that put skin health first. Beyond beauty, we can do more by empowering our employees professionally and on a personal level,” Buenaflor emphasised.

SEAF is a global impact investment fund manager targeting both financial returns and significant social impact by providing capital, capacity building, and a global network to support SME business expansion. It has invested in over 400 companies in 29 countries.

The firm’s Women’s Opportunity Fund is investing up to $2 million per deal in growth-oriented, women-led businesses in Vietnam, Indonesia, and now the Philippines.

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.