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DBS and Heritas Capital secure US$20 mil first close of Asia impact fund

Khairani Afifi Noordin
Khairani Afifi Noordin • 2 min read
DBS and Heritas Capital secure US$20 mil first close of Asia impact fund
With a target size of US$50 million, the fund expects to provide growth capital to 10 to 15 social enterprises in Asia. Photo: Bloomberg
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DBS and impact investment platform Heritas Capital have announced the first close of the Asia Impact First Fund (AIFF), raising over US$20 million.

The funding is led by anchor investor DBS which committed US$10 million ($13.4 million). Other participants include Tsao Family Office, IMC Group, Ishk Tolaram Foundation, ANF Family Office and chairman of Octava Foundation Pang Sze Khai.

AIFF was launched in August 2022 with an investment mandate to support innovative and high-growth social enterprises in the region.

With a target size of US$50 million, the fund expects to provide catalytic growth capital to 10 to 15 social enterprises in Asia.

Managed by Heritas Capital, AIFF is made available to accredited investors. It aims to achieve capital preservation or appreciation with a target internal rate of return of 5% to 10%. DBS Foundation serves as its knowledge partner.

Guided by an impact-first philosophy, AIFF prioritises long-term impact outcomes aside from viewing returns through the lens of financial gains. This allows the fund to take a patient stance when investing in social enterprises, as compared to traditional financing options which often prioritise short-term profitability metrics.

See also: Less than 30% of firms worldwide feel ready for independent ESG audit: KPMG

Such patient catalytic capital is key in enabling social enterprises to thrive, considering that businesses pursuing dual bottom-lines require experimentation to develop innovative solutions, and often require a longer time-horizon to fulfil their potential.

“There’s a heightened need to cultivate a strong ecosystem to support their growth — and through the AIFF, we hope to bring together like-minded partners who share our desire to empower more of these innovative and meaningful businesses, and enable them to thrive, scale, and go on to create greater positive impact,” says DBS Foundation board member and DBS group head of strategic marketing and communications Karen Ngui.

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