PE arm of SG’s United Overseas Bank hits first close of second impact fund at $60m

Seah Kian Wee, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of UOB Venture Management

UOB Venture Management (UOBVM), the private equity arm of Singapore-based United Overseas Bank (UOB), announced that it has raised more than $60 million at the first close of its second impact fund, the Asia Impact Investment Fund (AIIF) II.

UOBVM, in collaboration with Credit Suisse, managed to secure commitments from institutional and accredited investors, including UOB, global family offices, and high-net-worth individuals for AIIF II, which has a target corpus of $100 million.

The second impact fund’s final closing is expected to be completed in 2021 and will take minority stakes in companies with equity investments in the range of $1-15 million per deal.

AIIF II will deploy capital in sectors such as education, health, financial services, sustainable energy, and low-cost housing, targeting the “base of the pyramid” population or lower-income segments in the Asia Pacific region.

It will then make equity investments of about $1 million to $15 million into private, high-growth companies in sectors such as agriculture, education, healthcare, and logistics or those that focus on improving the accessibility of affordable housing, sanitation, clean water, and energy.

“While we seek to achieve quality financial returns for our investors, we also continue to partner them in generating positive social impact by helping the vulnerable segments of the community across Southeast Asia and China,” said Seah Kian Wee, CEO of UOBVM.

UOBVM closed its $55 million AIIF I in 2016 and has made about 10 investments across China, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam from the fund. These include names like Indonesian firms Ruangguru (edtech) and Halodoc (healthtech), as well as Chinese agritech firm Zhejiang Lanmei Agriculture Co.

Fund II continues to see UOBVM partnering with Credit Suisse as it did for its first fund.

“As testament to the success of the first fund, many of our existing AIIF I investors have re-committed to this new fund, reflecting strong interest to invest in proven solutions that can address the social challenges in Asia while achieving quality financial returns,” said Joost Bilkes, Head of Sustainability Strategy, Advisory and Finance, Asia Pacific at Credit Suisse.

UOBVM currently has more than $1.4 billion of assets under management. Apart from its impact funds, it has raised four other China-ASEAN investment funds since 2004, with its fourth and most recent fund closed at $300 million in 2019. The portfolio companies from those funds include Indonesian ride-hailing mammoth Gojek, and Thai remittance startup Lightnet.

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.