Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX) Announces Launch of Impact Partners, Asia‟s First Private Placement Platform for Investment in Social Enterprises
Singapore, 19 April 2011
- IIX launches Impact Partners, Asia’s first private placement platform for investment in social enterprises
- Impact Partners will be the game-changer for sustainable economic development across Asia- Pacific facilitating impact investments (focused on financial, social and economic returns) on a regional scale
- Impact Partners is strategically based in Singapore, in close proximity to the growing number of Asian social enterprises and mobilizing Singapore’s effective financial infrastructure for impact investment
Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX) announced the launch of its private online platform, Impact Partners, in Singapore. Impact Partners is poised to introduce impact investors to a select group of pre-screened Asian social enterprises in sectors such as agriculture, clean technology, renewable energy, education, healthcare and microfinance.
Durreen Shahnaz, IIX Founder and Chairman, said, ‘This is an important day for sustainable development in Asia. IIX was created to use capital markets effectively to support social enterprises that are having positive social and environmental impact in the region, and Impact Partners is an important milestone in that endeavor. The launch of Impact Partners is a product of coordinated efforts by a great number of people and partners, and it marks the start of a new phase in the Asian social enterprise sector where we can celebrate and embrace sustainable growth through these fantastic entities.’
Impact Investors from across the region are excited with the launch of Impact Partners. According to Pasha Bhaktiar, Partner at Dubai based WillowTree fund, “WillowTree’s mission is to make high impact investments and we are thrilled to be part of Impact Partners which will allow us to identify, assess and invest in social and environmental investment opportunities around Asia.” Bonny Landers, CEO of Sterling Group in Hong Kong noted, “At Sterling Group, we have been exploring ways to achieve “blended value” with our philanthropic and investment activities. We are excited about the launch of Impact Partners which will provide us with access to deal flow in Asia as a way to develop our strategy as well as be part of a wider network.”
Impact Partners is now live at www.impactpartners.asiaiix.com.
Investors wishing to participate in what promises to be a new and exciting opportunity to evaluate, contact and invest in quality social enterprises should contact IIX for details on membership. Social enterprises seeking mission-aligned capital should also contact IIX. Both Investors and SEs can register and send their enquiries through www.impactpartners.asiaiix.com.
IIX, Impact Partners and Shujog
IIX is a Social Enterprise (SE) with a social mission to provide greater access to capital for SEs in Asia-Pacific allowing them to grow more rapidly and expand their impact. With that mission in mind, and after two years of planning, development and hundreds of field assessments, it has launched Impact Partners.
Impact Partners is a private, online platform operated by IIX, designed to introduce impact investors to a select group of pre-screened Asian SEs. These SEs may include both for-profit and not-for-profit entities with social missions in sectors such as agriculture, clean technology, renewable energy, education, healthcare and microfinance.
Impact Investment Shujog (Shujog) is the not-for-profit sister organization of IIX which focuses on impact assessment, advocacy and research for SEs. Shujog is a key contributor of impact assessments of SEs on Impact Partners.
IIX has received generous financial support for its work from the Rockefeller Foundation in the form of a grant supporting research and proof-of-concept analysis. IIX and Shujog have also benefitted from a Regional Research and Development Technical Assistance Program administered by the Asian Development Bank. IIX and Shujog are working closely with Singapore government ministries in establishing their presence in Singapore. In particular, it is in continuous dialogue with the International Organisations Programme Office of the Economic Development Board..
A game-changer for developing economies
Asia has 60% of the world‟s population and faces immense population density and heightened vulnerability to economic downturns, social upheaval and environmental degradation. Impact Partners is a game-changing platform for SEs to access investment capital, which can help them to grow more rapidly and alleviate or reduce these problems. SEs provide innovative mission-driven solutions and offer investors the prospect of “triple bottom line” returns, creating social, environmental and financial value, thus setting a more sustainable and caring path for growth in developing economies.
Select Social Enterprises
At present, Impact Partners has profiled an initial group of SEs from a range of Asian countries, including India, Bangladesh and Thailand, operating in sectors including organic agriculture, renewable energy and microfinance.
These SEs from around Asia provide services and products that embrace social values while operating with the financial discipline, innovation and determination of private sector businesses. To be profiled on the site, a social enterprise will have to meet a number of criteria, including having a clear social or environmental mission with positive impact, demonstrating that they are (or have a clear plan to become) financially sustainable, and having a scalable model that can benefit from investment capital.
An example is Excellent Renewable Energy in India. It focuses on creating bio gas plants that are designed to meet the energy needs of the community. They also seek to raise awareness of clean and sustainable energy among the village community and potential investors.
Pranav Gadhia, Director of Excellent Renewable Energy said, „Our organization has had a long relationship with IIX and its sister company, Impact Investment Shujog. Together we‟ve been able to set direction and a path for Excellent Renewable that should lead to scale and profitability, while maintaining our prime values of serving our community and our family of employees.‟
Membership in the platform
Impact investor members are accredited, institutional and other “sophisticated” investors. They include high net worth individuals, family offices, foundations, institutions and funds. Impact Partners targets investors who wish to make investments offering prospects of financial return while simultaneously creating positive social and/or environmental impact. These investors are the bridge between philanthropy, which incubates innovation and mobilizes attention to exciting solutions, and the private-sector capital markets that ultimately hold the wealth required to advance these solutions to a level proportionate to need.
Robert Kraybill, Managing Director of IIX, said, „We gave a lot of thought to what might be the best approach for bringing SEs and interested investors together. What we discovered was that the easiest way may also be the most effective. Investors want to find good SEs, and good SEs want to find interested investors. All that stands in the way is a good interface. We think we‟ve got it.‟
En Lee, Director of Impact Partners noted, „It was indeed rewarding to be able to bring such a platform to fruition and play a critical role in building the impact investment space in Asia which is new but is fast gaining momentum.‟
How Impact Partners works
The Impact Partners website includes several public pages containing general information about Impact Partners, social entrepreneurship and impact investing. Investor members will also be issued a password that will allow them to access the private portion of the site. Within these pages, investors will be able to search for SEs based on a variety of criteria, including country of operation, sector, investment type, etc. Members will be able to access information on each of the profiled SEs.
For each of the SEs showcased, the information presented will include its business and financial information as well as information on its social and/or environmental impact. Summaries of its business and financial information will be provided by the SE and will be presented in a standardized format.
Summaries of an SE‟s social and/or environmental impact will be provided separately. This will also be based on information provided by the SE but may contain analysis and evaluations performed by IIX‟s affiliate Impact Investment Shujog or another third party provider of social impact assessment services.
Investors will also have the ability to access additional supporting information, which may include, for instance, audited historical financial statements provided by the company. This may also include detailed analysis and assessments focused on the social and environmental impact created by the company. All of the information presented on the platform will be subject to confidentiality undertakings given by the investors as a condition of their membership in Impact Partners.
If an investor wishes to learn more about an SE to consider a potential investment in the enterprise, she will be able to indicate her interest by contacting Impact Partners, which will then introduce the investor to the SE‟s management. The investor and the company may then enter into a discussion that may lead to a privately negotiated investment transaction.
IIX anticipates that with the recent growth in the awareness of and interest in SEs, demand for such Impact Investment opportunities will grow and will help set the stage for IIX‟s next big launch, the Impact Exchange in Q1 2012.
Impact Exchange, launching in early 2012, will be the world‟s first stock exchange focusing exclusively on SEs, where investors can purchase and trade shares and bonds issued by SEs. IIX will provide liquidity to investors by supporting listing, trading, clearing and settlement of securities.