Asian Development Bank is a leading multilateral development bank globally with a focus on emerging markets in the Asia Pacific region.
Recently, ADB launched the ADB Ventures impact-driven platform to invest in companies that plan to solve the most significant problems in the development sector in the Asia Pacific. With a focus on early-stage impact technology companies, the venture platform is flexible to include companies domiciled anywhere globally but ready to expand their businesses in the Asia Pacific emerging markets. The companies get the extensive expertise offered by the multilateral and part of a three-year $12 million technical assistance program. ADB Ventures’ vision is to become the largest impact-led technology-led platform in the emerging Asia Pacific by 2030, crowding in more than $1billion in risk capital. The public-private partnership model is built on leveraging $2 of capital from the private sector for every one dollar of internal investment. The initiative fosters financial innovation driving innovative practices through blended finance to attract more than $100 trillion in private capital. With a global focus among all actors within the development sector to attract capital for the less privileged people of the society, ADB Ventures is bridging the gap between public and private money.
The first ADB Ventures Investment Fund 1, has raised $50 million and invests $4 million in impact technology companies with a presence in cleantech, agritech, fintech, and health tech sector. With a fund life of 17 years, the fund can take long-term risk in invigorating companies catering to the low-income and underserved segment of society. ADB Ventures promotes technical assistance-funded activities through the ADB Ventures Seed Program and ADB Ventures Labs. Venture Lab focuses on early-stage startup’s preferably backed by VCs/Angel investors. At the same time, the Seed program provides reimbursable grants of $20,000-$2,00,000 for rapid product validation with an option to reinvest in the company later date. The mechanism aids in de-risking potential ADB Ventures Investment Fund 1. The ADB model is developed as a public-private partnership model to facilitate funding through co-private investors. The seed program is committed to making a considerable social impact, especially in themes related to climate and gender, with a target to invest in at least 15 companies and provide grants to a minimum of 40 companies through the seed route. The project has already provided grants to companies in Nepal and the Philippines. ADB Ventures is a game-changing initiative by the multilateral bank which includes key partnerships around the region with actors from Singapore, Thailand, Finland, the Republic of Korea, and the Nordic development bank, Vietnam, among others. The fund has leading initiatives in fintech, food and agritech, climate action, clean water, and tourism, including accelerators to scale innovation among startup’s focusing on the UN Sustainable Development Goals in a well-defined, well rounded, and integrated manner. The laudatory initiative is a big step in a continent that faces a scarcity of capital for driving equitable initiatives for society’s growing less privileged strata.