The new fund will invest in innovative technologies that solve urgent sustainable development challenges across Asia
Singapore, 27 October 2021 – Tembusu Partners in collaboration with Eco-Business announced the launch of the Sustainable Future Fund (SFF), an inaugural platform that will deploy purpose-driven capital into solving the most urgent sustainable development challenges across Asia.
The targeted USD 100 million fund will pursue high impact growth stage opportunities across the region that focuses on addressing the climate crisis and reducing social inequalities.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report issued recently — described as “a code red for humanity” by the UN Secretary General António Guterres — warns that rising temperatures will lead to dangerous weather extremes and rising sea levels in the coming years, and Asia is particularly vulnerable to its effects.
With the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference set to take place next month in Glasgow, Scotland, Guterres has stressed that more ambition is needed with respect to climate mitigation, adaptation, and finance.
For Southeast Asia in particular, sea levels are rising faster than elsewhere, and shorelines are retreating in coastal areas where 450 million people live. At the same time, the region is also home to the world’s most rapidly developing markets with huge infrastructural needs.
Developing Asia will need to invest US$1.7 trillion per year in infrastructure until 2030 to maintain its growth momentum, tackle poverty, and respond to climate change. In the aftermath of the global Covid-19 pandemic, Income inequality is also worsening in the region. A recent UNESCAP report reveals that even before the pandemic, the Asia-Pacific region was not on track to meet any of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
The Sustainable Future Fund is uniquely positioned to help address these challenges and drive change in the region with its impact-driven investment strategy and proprietary framework for ESG assessment that will ensure its portfolio companies deliver not just financial returns but demonstrable impact.
It will take a broad sector approach and focus on the five high opportunity areas it has identified: energy transition, circular economy, sustainable food and agriculture, access to health and education, and financial inclusion.
The Sustainable Future Fund will tap on the vast, combined networks of Tembusu Partners and Eco-Business which provide an inside track to a strong deal pipeline, and will seek family offices and investors who are aligned in values and committed to supporting this mission to create impact in Asia.
The fund is pleased to welcome its first overseas investment partner, Horizon Family Partners, who have committed to raise up to US$20 million from a number of prominent international family offices. Horizon Family Partners was created to bring together like-minded multi-generational families to deliberate innovative ideas relating to global sustainability.
“The themes we are focusing on in this fund target founders and companies which solve some of the biggest issues of our era. Together with Eco-Business, we aim to support the scaling up of new and growing impact-driven businesses in Asia, towards building a sustainable future. We are also delighted that KPMG will be supporting the Fund as its Knowledge Partner,” said Andy Lim, chairman of Tembusu Partners.
The fund also welcomed international advisory board members to its team. They include:
- Georg Kell, founding executive director of the United Nations Global Compact and chairman of Arabesque;
- Michael Meehan, chairman of the UK Sustainable Investment & Finance Association (UKSIF) and former CEO of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI);
- Nicholas Parker, impact entrepreneur, founder of The Cleantech Group and former chair of Corporate Knights;
- and chaired by Lim Hwee Hua, Former Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister of Singapore and Second Minister for Finance and Transport
The fund has a robust pipeline of quality deals and has already invested in an Indonesian start-up in the financial inclusion space. It is in the midst of investing into another three opportunities in the region involved in areas such as mental health, energy transition and sustainable cities.
The Fund features General Partners Andy Lim and Jessica Cheam; and a seasoned investment team led by Jonathan Ang and Jen Loong as well as technical experts Junice Yeo, Brandon Courban, and Tharani Prakash.
“This unique fund will be well-positioned to tap the growth of the ESG and impact investing space in Asia. By helping to facilitate capital into the most promising companies in the region, we will be able to further scale our sustainable development impact,” said Cheam.
Lim Hwee Hua, advisory chair, added: “The urgency of the climate crisis is finally becoming the mainstream concern that it should be. The good news is that ESG and finance are becoming more closely intertwined – and there is growing evidence today to show that investors can see better, more sustainable returns through ESG investing. There is a huge opportunity here for capital to be deployed in game-changing solutions across Asia.”
About Tembusu Partners
Tembusu Partners is a boutique private equity investment firm that invests in promising early and growth-stage companies with a view to generate sustainable returns for both investee companies and investors. Besides supporting companies through mezzanine and equity financing, it also contributes operational expertise to help them grow. Headquartered in Singapore, its primary geographical markets are within Emerging Asia – comprising China, India and Southeast Asia. For more information, please visit www.tembusupartners.com.
Established in 2009, Eco-Business is an independent media and business intelligence company dedicated to sustainable development and ESG performance. It publishes high quality, trusted news and views in multimedia formats on business and policy developments around the world with a sustainability and ESG-focused lens. Eco-Business provides research and consulting on a wide range of issues which create strategic value for our partners and clients. It owns and creates thought-leadership platforms which inform policymaking, improve business practices and foster collaboration among different sectors. Eco-Business is headquartered in Singapore, with a presence in Manila, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Zurich, New York, and correspondents in major cities across the world. Visit at www.eco-business.com for more information.
It also hosts a new global sustainability innovation platform called The SDG Co. This tech-driven platform connects start-ups, corporates, governments and investors working on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and provide a global community space where people and businesses across the globe can network, learn, meet experts, partner and share innovations.
About the Arabesque Group
The Arabesque Group is comprised of three businesses, Arabesque Asset Management, Arabesque S-Ray and Arabesque AI, that work together to advance sustainable finance through investment solutions, AI and financial technology expertise. Established independently in 2013, Arabesque’s mission is to enable clients and other stakeholders to implement sustainability in their investments and financial decision-making. Arabesque counts many of the world’s leading banks, asset managers, asset owners and custodians as its clients. Visit arabesque.com for more information.