SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 28 October 2021 - Wavemaker Partners
has launched Wavemaker Impact, a first-of-its-kind climate tech venture builder
in Southeast Asia, targeting to raise US$25 million for its first fund. Climate
change is an existential threat for the region, with three of its largest
cities facing the threat of being underwater by 2050. The founders of Wavemaker
Impact believe that entrepreneurs will drive solutions to climate change and
aim to launch companies that will reduce 10% of global emissions by 2035.
members L-R: Quentin
Vaquette, Doug Parker, Marie Cheong, Paul Santos, and Steve Melhuish.
founding team at Wavemaker Impact comprises veterans that have invested in and
helped build over 35 sustainability startups, and have stellar track records in
growing successful and scalable businesses. They include Steve Melhuish, PropertyGuru
founder and impact investor; Doug Parker, ex-COO of Nutonomy; Paul Santos,
Managing Partner of Wavemaker Partners in Southeast Asia; and Quentin Vaquette
and Marie Cheong, who built more than 10 climate tech startups during their
time at ENGIE Factory, the Asia-based venture arm of a global low-carbon
Tapping on the Wavemaker platform, Wavemaker Impact entrepreneurs will
have access to a network of global investors, advisors, and corporate partners.
According to Marie Cheong, "With existing technology, we already have
the solutions to cut global carbon emissions by 50%, but we need to create
incentives to disrupt traditional businesses, change behavior, and drive
Wavemaker Impact has identified high-growth and scalable opportunities
in climate change with a total potential market worth S$2.7
trillion in Southeast Asia alone, and is looking for investors, entrepreneurs,
and founders to join them in their rapid decarbonization efforts.
Cheong outlines the role that Wavemaker Impact is playing: "A lot of entrepreneurs
want to make an impact, but don't know where to start and that's where we come
Steve Melhuish elaborates on their way of working: "Unlike other climate
funds, we don't just write checks—we roll up our sleeves and co-found these
businesses, helping identify the biggest opportunities, acquire the first
customers, develop scalable business models, build product prototypes, and
build the best teams."
The Wavemaker Impact team has already identified over 50 opportunity
areas with the potential to reach US$100 million in annual recurring revenue
and abate 100 million metric tons of carbon at scale—what they call '100 x 100
companies'. These high-growth opportunities present themselves in sectors like
land use and carbon sinks, agriculture and food, industrial processes, and
energy. The team aims to target the biggest sources of carbon emissions in
Southeast Asia—where significant impact is possible.
Launching a climate-focused fund is a natural move for Wavemaker
Partners, as the firm itself is committed to sustainability, with a
number of initiatives over the last 18 months. The VC launched "Green
Wave" last year to help the Wavemaker team and its community become more
sustainability-focused—some of the efforts taken under the initiative include
going carbon neutral, mapping its portfolio of startups against the UN
Sustainable Development Goals, and running sustainability workshops for
Paul Santos adds, "We know what successful ventures look like in
Southeast Asia and we have the expertise. We are all set to go. All we are
looking for is like-minded people to join us on this exciting journey."