Singapore-headquartered investment firm Lighthouse Canton and digital alternatives marketplace Alta, formerly known as Fundnel, have partnered to launch a new venture debt strategy that will allow investors on the Alta platform to invest in venture debt.
Lighthouse Canton, which recently held a $20-million first close of its new venture debt fund, has started deploying venture debt capital across five companies from the fintech, healthtech, proptech, and consumer tech sectors.
Lighthouse Canton’s venture debt strategy comprises a Singapore-based variable capital company for investments in Southeast Asia and a Category II alternative investment fund for investments in India.
The firm earlier launched a partnership to invest in venture equity in the Indian startup ecosystem and successfully closed a $40-million fund to invest in 27 pre-Series A and Series A companies across various sectors.
Lighthouse Canton managed and advised over $3 billion worth of assets as of September 30, 2022.
Meanwhile, in late 2022, Fundnel rebranded to Alta and acquired digital securities exchange, Hg Exchange. The company claims to have over 1 million investors on its platform. Since 2016, it has completed over 1,000 transactions valued in excess of $600 million and created access to over $22 billion worth of mandated opportunities globally.
“In more mature venture ecosystems such as the US and Europe, venture debt has risen to 15-20% of the total VC funding, whereas this proportion is less than 2% in India and Southeast Asia. We see tremendous opportunity for venture debt and expect the size of this market to grow 3-4 times in the next five years,” said Sanket Sinha, Lighthouse Canton’s Global Head of Asset Management.
More than $30 billion has been loaned to VC-funded startups in the US between 2019 and 2021. Meanwhile, Alta said, venture debt investments in Southeast Asia were less than $1 billion in 2021.