Impact investing firm Patamar Capital has launched a $50 million Beacon Fund for female entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia’s emerging markets.
A credit fund, Beacon has raised approximately 25 per cent of its initial target, according to a statement. The fund has attracted a high net worth woman as its anchor investor, and received support from Investing in Women, an initiative by the Australian Government, and USAID INVEST.
Vulpes Investment Management is Beacon’s Singapore fund management partner.
Beacon said it will use an evergreen structure to better align with its long-term commitment to support woman entrepreneurs.
Initially focusing on debt products, Beacon will provide investments in the range of $500,000 to $2 million.
Beacon said its debt funding structure would be a better fit for moderate-growth, cash-flow positive businesses.
“There is a vast underserved segment of businesses whose growth profile does not match with the expectations of VC/PE, but are creating considerable value for their customers and stakeholders,” said Shuyin Tang, co-founder and CEO at Beacon. She also spearheads Patamar Capital’s gender lens investing efforts.
“Many of these businesses [SMEs] have grown organically and demonstrated solid cash-flows over time. We saw this was a common growth trajectory for female entrepreneurs in particular. The Beacon Fund is focused on meeting the financing needs of these types of businesses, and beyond that, creating a community celebrating alternative models of entrepreneurial and investing success,” she added.
Tang told DealStreetAsia that the types of businesses Beacon focused on have been typically overlooked by venture capital and private equity investors, which often look for “exponential growth companies and the returns of the fund depend on these home-runs”.
The sectors which have a high concentration of businesses fitting Beacon’s target profile include agri-businesses, education and healthcare businesses and services businesses such as marketing, design and HR.
Geographically, the fund focuses on Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Beacon expects to make its first investments before the end of this year, according to the statement.
Since 2017, Patamar Capital has partnered with Investing in Women to manage a gender lens investing fund for Southeast Asia. The programme has invested in 14 women-owned companies over the past three years.