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Temasek Trust, DBS Foundation, UBS Optimus Foundation launch new digital impact marketplace

Jovi Ho
Jovi Ho • 4 min read
Temasek Trust, DBS Foundation, UBS Optimus Foundation launch new digital impact marketplace
The platform, named Co-Axis, currently features over 70 curated impact opportunities from more than 40 countries. Photo: Bloomberg
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A new digital impact marketplace initiated by Temasek Trust will showcase a pipeline of early-stage businesses, charitable organisations and blended finance projects with strong impact potential. 

By connecting them to funders like family offices, corporate entities, philanthropists, high-net-worth individuals and private foundations, the platform aims to help scale impact innovations that are tackling global sustainability challenges.

Temasek Trust, DBS Foundation and UBS Optimus Foundation announced on April 15 their strategic partnership to build Co-Axis. According to a beta showcase at the Philanthropy Asia Summit in Singapore, the “digital catalytic capital marketplace” currently features over 70 curated impact opportunities from more than 40 countries.

According to Temasek Trust, the impact opportunities featured on the platform span social enterprises, impact ventures, non-profit organisations, research and corporates. 

A wide range of financial instruments with a philanthropic focus are available on the platform, including pure grants, recoverable grants and concessionary debt.

Any returns will be redeployed into future impact opportunities, amplifying the impact of the initial contribution, says Temasek Trust. 

See also: Temasek Trust and DBS Foundation launches marketplace directing private investments to impact-focused projects

Examples of impact opportunities on Co-Axis include the Fairventures Social Forestry’s project “Regenerative Agroforestry for Climate and Social Impacts in Indonesia”, which will support 50,000 Indonesian smallholders to become climate-resilient by 2035.

Another featured project is PescaData, a pre-seed impact venture that aims to connect 300,000 small-scale fishers for healthy oceans and resilient coastal communities in Latin America.

According to Temasek Trust, all impact projects listed on Co-Axis commit to impact measurement and management. These featured projects are curated from partners across the Temasek Trust, DBS Foundation and UBS Optimus Foundation ecosystems, among others. 

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They include A*Star, ABC Impact, Argor Capital, AVPN, Cartier Women’s Initiative, DBS Foundation, Helicap, Impact Hub Shanghai, Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA), the Philanthropy Asia Alliance (PAA), Silverstrand Capital, Temasek Foundation, The Earthshot Prize, UBS Optimus Foundation and UOB. 

According to Temasek Trust, more impact opportunities will go live on an ongoing basis. 

Launch partners

Co-Axis will help early-stage impact innovators “survive and thrive”, says Desmond Kuek, chief executive officer of Temasek Trust. “We invite others to join us — whether as a funder, founder, knowledge or community partner — to drive positive impact at speed and at scale.”

As strategic partner, DBS Foundation contributes to the platform’s pipeline of projects by tapping its network of businesses for impact and blended finance projects. 

Purpose-driven businesses play an increasingly essential role in society, as the world grapples with pressing social and environmental issues, says Karen Ngui, board member of DBS Foundation and group head of strategic marketing and communications at DBS Bank. 

“Since 2014, when the DBS Foundation was set up, we have supported many of these businesses and witnessed the positive impact they create on lives and livelihoods,” adds Ngui. “It is our hope that platforms like Co-Axis can further galvanise and grow this ecosystem, and engender greater support towards these meaningful businesses.”

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Fellow strategic partner UBS Optimus Foundation will make available donor-advised fund (DAF) services to ensure efficient and seamless funding through the platform.

Community partners include AVPN, Global FinTech Institute, PAA and The Earthshot Prize. Together, they will build communities of interest to advance the discourse around innovation, impact and philanthropy on the platform, according to Temasek Trust.

Knowledge partners include B Lab, BlueMark, the Centre for Impact Investing and Practices (CIIP), the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), Impact Frontiers, SDG Impact, Stewardship Asia Centre, Tideline and the Wealth Management Institute.

The inititative was first announced at the 3rd Philanthropy Asia Summit in September 2023.

Call for partners

Temasek Trust welcomes organisations to join the Co-Axis ecosystem to speed up and scale impact innovation. Potential partners can include financial institutions, investors, family offices, corporates, start-ups, charities and impact project owners. 

They could commit capital, feature impact opportunities or contribute to community and platform-building.

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