Irish companies with innovative sustainable tech solutions are being urged to tap into a new investment fund designed to open doors to Asian markets.
DB Ventures has been established by the Asia Development Bank to spur high-impact cleantech, agritech, fintech, and healthtech innovations, particularly in the areas of climate action and gender balance.
The fund will tell the Dublin-based Global Asia Matters Business Summit this week that it is looking for Irish startups or growth stage companies with tech-enabled solutions.
The companies should already have a developed product and a clear path to sustainability and non-equity finance growth within three years.
Over 80pc of investments are expected to be in climate impact, and 75pc must also have a strong female market or management participation.
Although Ireland is a member of the ADB, Irish businesses are behind the European curve in availing of the vast procurement market that it operates, according to Martin Murray, Executive Director of Asia Matters.
The ADB Portfolio of 1,000 projects has a value of $132bn and there are currently over 900 technical assistance projects available, valued at over $1.6bn.
Galway company GDSI Ltd secured $2.11m through this channel, with Dublin-based consulting company AARC Ltd winning contracts worth $9.64m over the past five years.
In addition to the main ADB fund, ADB Ventures has been established to invest in early-stage technology companies globally that can address urgent development challenges in emerging AsiaPacific regions.
“We are a patient venture-capital facility and are trying to connect startups, high-impact technology firms and growth firms interested in coming into AsiaPacific, and helping them to reduce their market entry risks,” said ADP Ventures lead on impact tech Saumya Kailasapathy.
“Irish companies breaking into AsiaPacific typically land in China, but typically they have no knowledge on how to approach south and south-east Asian markets, such as India, Thailand and Myanmar, where there are huge opportunities.”
“We support companies to find a client, negotiate the contract, help them through the regulatory framework, and put them in touch with good networks. We can seed the companies with reimbursable grants of up to $200,000 to test the market, and enable them to get to the next round of equity financing quicker.”
ADB Ventures can then invest up to $4m in early stage and growth companies with tech-enabled solutions.