Unpacking the Impact Agenda

The ever-increasing need for sustainable growth in the global economy has given rise to new ways and principles of acquiring assets that create value not only for investors, but also for society as a whole and the environment. For those seeking alternatives to their traditional portfolios and looking for purpose-driven investments to address long-term challenges, welcome to “Impact Investing”.

WHY IMPACT MATTERS

Impact investing, a way to generate measurable positive social and/or environmental benefits while delivering financial returns, is expanding as a promising economic opportunity for investors, stakeholders, and growing entrepreneurs in the developing world. To broaden the scope of environmentally and socially clever business decisions, impact investments have emerged as a sensible response to many socio-economic challenges. This strategy allows investors to intentionally pursue investments on business models that actively combat global issues, and by doing so contribute to the healthy development of the emerging global market economies while giving back to local communities and sustaining livelihoods.

When applied to specific social causes, impact investing has the potential to bring more capital and fresh approaches to targeted issue areas, as investors can directly subsidise organisations aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs). The relationship between impact and investments can be easily conveyed and articulated using SDGs framework. Some of the objectives include, quality education, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, industrial and infrastructure innovation and climate action.

BIG NAMES ALSO ON THIS JOURNEY

In times of recurring risk aversion, capital volatility and stringency in public funding, many of the world’s largest foundations have pledged a significant portion of their assets towards impact investing such as, Ford Foundation’s $1 billion commitment being the largest to date and Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group who committed over $4.7 billion, facilitating the creation and preservation of housing units that affordable to both low to moderate income family.

As this new culture of impact investing in Indonesia is now maturing with the agriculture and fisheries sector as the main focus of the economic market, which is experiencing +5% revenue growth every year, more localisation efforts are being made. Now investors are involving local stakeholders in the operational and fund allocation system, enabling collaboration in the development of the supply chain market. One of the most influential investors in this sector is Openspace Ventures, which is ranked 5th in the identified portfolio with 71% influence on Indonesian economy such as Halodoc, Tani Group, Akulaku, and Sorabel.

IMPACT AS THE NEW NORMAL

It is always a challenge to combine the numerous investment activities with social and environmental objectives. Our shared interest in achieving positive goals while reaping personal financial rewards will be the beginning of many future opportunities as we give back to communities and the natural ecosystems. With the right mix of social objectives and appropriate returns, impact investment is the benchmark we look for to improve portfolio performance. This applies to all sectors.

Here at BIC we see impact investing as more than a smart move, but as a responsibility towards the world that surrounds us. Impact is no longer an option, it has become the way every business should operate. Sustainability is now a collective exercise. We invite investors who share this same vision to help us support entrepreneurs who have the heart and determination to make a difference.

Welcome to Impact Investing

11 Things You Didn’t Know About Indonesia

Southeast Asia has long been at the forefront of impact investing. And many startups and investors in Indonesia are adopting an environmental, social, and governance approach. There are many factors fostering this shift, with the main driver coming from a sudden decrease in tourism, one of the islands’ top revenue sources. We’re witnessing a rapidly growing digital ecosystem that is aligning the value of sustainability with long-term investor interests.

There has never been a better time for impact investment in Indonesia than now. According to conservative estimates, Indonesia offers an estimated USD 23 billion in impact investment opportunities over the next 5 years. With the underlying fundamentals of Indonesia staged for growth, there are various reasons to consider investing in the archipelago country.

Poised for Growth

According to McKinsey & Co, Indonesia is on track to become the world’s 7th largest economy in 2030. This consulting firm also projects an 11% growth per year for consumer spending on financial services and savings as 90 million Indonesians join the middle classes by 2030. Since 1980, Indonesia has demonstrated the most consistent (stable) growth of any economy. Today, it is the 4th most populous country and the 16th largest economy in the world.

Size of the Market

Indonesia’s impact investing market has been on the rise, especially after 2013. The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) refers to Indonesia’s impact investing market as “the largest and most mature in Southeast Asia” both by “capital deployed and several deals”.

Over the next five years, experts predict Indonesia will create around USD 23 billion in investment opportunities to offer impact investors. Multiple sectors will be targeted by both investors and government-sponsored programs with finance, education, food and beverages, tourism and agriculture and fisheries being the industries with the most potential.

Multiple Sectors of Interest

When looking at the most lucrative niches for investment, McKinsey highlights several B2B sectors as well as sectors that contribute to social and environmental impact, like energy, sanitation, reforestation, water, recycling and waste processing. The estimated sales of all sectors combined by 2030 are close to USD 1.4 trillion. To arrive at the investment forecast per sector experts have looked for estimates in expert reports.

Even by conservative estimate of 5% of any sector’s sales being reinvested, the data is very promising. This is conservative since each sector is likely to grow sales by 5% or more each year.

Trends

When it comes to energy consumption, Indonesia is one of the world’s fastest growing countries. At the same time, only 11% of the energy supply is from renewable sources presently. By 2030 IRENA anticipates that renewables will represent 28% of power generation, which will open the door for many new developments and power plant construction projects. Indonesia is the country with the largest potential of geothermal energy resources as hydropower is expected to then generate 2% and other renewables like solar and wind, together generating 1% in 2030.

A Digital Hub

Digital transformation is remaking the business landscape worldwide. But some countries are catching up faster than others. Southeast Asia has been a champion in the adoption of blockchain–a revolutionary technology that has wide applications. From government databases to financial transactions, supply chain management, product tracing, logistics, sustainable development, retail and ecommerce – decentralization and full traceability are two of the main components of blockchain networks. Along with its vast computational power, blockchain is closely tied to the cryptocurrency market – a market that recently passed $2 trillion in valuation.

Regulations in Indonesia are favourable for fostering a digital economy, which will create a more open market. Both local and foreign players are investing in Indonesian tech companies. These investments will accelerate the growth of the digital economy and ecosystem. But since the digital industry is still very young, the opportunities are endless.

At BIC, we believe Indonesia is perfectly positioned to leapfrog its development. The Club actively supports entrepreneurs who are working on sustainable business solutions across various sectors.

Visit our portfolio to view our active investment opportunities.

Invest in the future. Invest in Indonesia.

The Evolution Of An Island

by P.D. Pamungkas & T. Courly

Bali is an island bathed in mysticism and much of its origins is left to tales and stories passed on from generation to generation. What remains of its pre-historic era stems largely from the religious influence of Hinduism and Buddhism. Many agree that Bali’s recent past began to develop under the reign of Majapahit Empire in the 17th century, where large scale agriculture and irrigation was developed. The empire also brought Javanese influence towards the creation of architecture, arts, and literature, helping to define the Bali we know today.

The Western history of Bali started with the arrival of European settlers around the same time. These first contacts and expeditions, brought forth the birth of Bali as a new island in a still-growing world map. The western influence continued to root and nurture the island through traders’ efforts to pioneer infrastructure on the island in 1917 and then establishing sailing routes in 1924.

ENTERING THE GLOBAL WORLD

Following the declaration of Independence of Indonesia on 17 August 1945 from Japanese occupation, Bali’s development remained slow for over two decades. Fast forward to 1970 when Ngurah Rai International Airport was opened to help Bali blossom as a world-famous tourist attraction. Bali soon became a global melting pot of foreign influence and commercialisation began to show negative effects on the religious and cultural-centric framework of the Balinese people.

The Kuta terrorist bombings that shocked the nation in 2002 and 2005, were one of the major events that cemented Bali into the period of globalisation. The events that specifically aim to intimidate international tourists turned out to be the ones that helped the island further flourish. Bali Government Tourism Office stated the influx of visitors gradually scaled up from 2 million in 2005 to approximately 10 million in 2019.

PANDEMIC ON THE ISLAND

In 2020, Bali successfully earned 4th place as the Most Popular World Destination for hospitality and fantasy-like destinations. However, the pandemic did force many who depended on tourism to undergo necessary changes. Both private and public organisations have been exploring ways to reshape the foundation of the island’s economy.

The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy seeks to optimize digitalisation for global workers to come and live here, and is proposing a special Visa for digital nomads. The unfolding of this scene will drive new kinds of tourism and entertainment to be developed by skilled workers in the aim to create stronger economic hubs in areas like Canggu, Ubud, and Nusa Dua, strengthening the growth of a services-based economy, linked to the rest of Indonesia, Asia, and the world.

The era of digital trading is developing more rapidly. Transactions and hand-in-hand affairs advance into onlines payments through social media and shopping applications, allowing entrepreneurs to strengthen the bond with investors and customers alike.

CONCLUSION

The economic crisis that came with the pandemic pressured the people of Bali to undergo massive changes in their daily lives. Flexibility, adaptiveness to outside cultures and challenging situations are the key survival points at the moment. One of the most favorable efforts is agricultural innovation and digital technology, which stand as the next profitable pillars of the island.

The island of the Gods is an excellent choice for digital nomads and entrepreneurs who seek interdependency in mobility, economy, and technology. “Work & Live in Bali” will continue to be of vital importance for building a stable services-based economy.

At BIC, we believe that entrepreneurs and investors can help each other to pioneer the next shift of this magical island.

Join the evolution. Invest in the New Paradigm.

An Economic Vision for a Post-Pandemic Bali

Our Managing Partner, Tom Courly recently did an interview with Eric Buvelot for Indonesia Expat Magazine (click here to read original article).

Read the full story on how Bali Investment Club is building a new financing model to support Indonesia’s change-makers below…

Since the COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged our economies worldwide, there has been much speculation about what our investment will be like tomorrow.

While some believe that once the “plague” is over everything will return like before, some others are betting on a radically different outcome.

So different, in fact, that prominent US news magazine Foreign Policy has already come up with a new word to define this new era of economics: fuzzynomics. An era of more awareness and less greed, where people will have greater control over what they consume and what investments will really mean for the long-term wellbeing of communities.

Wishful thinking, you might say! Here in Bali, BIC (Bali Investment Club) is already working to build a different entrepreneurial model for the iconic tourism island. This new model will broaden sources of income to avoid repeating errors of the past. It’s a scheme that doesn’t only apply to Bali, but to many other parts of the Indonesian archipelago as well. “The last thing Bali needs in the future is another five-star hotel,” says Tom Courly, co-founder of this new financial entity which claims to be the first-ever to set foot in Bali. Before the pandemic, tourism accounted for about 70 percent of the island’s GDP. Now, it’s been one and a half years since holidaymakers deserted the Indonesian island paradise, leaving local communities in disarray.

Consequently, some in the local administration have already figured out, like SMESCO, a private branch of the Ministry of Cooperation and SME, what the economic future of Bali could look like with far fewer tourists. “Their office has contacted us recently and after our first meeting, we both admitted that our purpose was similar,” further explains this Frenchman. He was brought up in South Africa and holds an MBA, along with 10 years of experience in advertising, consulting, and entrepreneurship. “We have the same vision about Bali; a vision that encompasses many transformations, where the island would become a new economic zone,” he asserts.

But how does Bali Investment Club work? It is mainly a financial proxy between expatriates, locals, institutions and businesses. It is a social club, but one with a mission; and some human values that are duly served by its own specific jargon. “We seek high-net-worth individuals, meaning, somebody with around $1 million in liquid financial assets to join our ‘angel network’. We are a hybrid. We sit between venture capital and a social club,” adds the young manager. So far, BIC has managed to attract all sorts of investors: foreign individuals, Indonesians, and sovereign funds, that is state-owned investment funds that deal in real and financial assets with public money. Not to forget the usual venture capital funds possibly joining as one-shot associates on a particular bargain.

 

MOSTLY TARGETING SMEs

If you have between $100,000 and $2 million to invest in a sound project with positive social and environmental impacts in Bali, this is the investor club to join. If you have even more money to invest, BIC offers a hedging strategy as well, a tactic aiming to hedge one investment by making a trade-in another. Another way to say you must not run the risk of putting all your eggs in one basket. On the other hand, if you have only $20,000 in your purse, that will do too, as BIC is mostly targeting SMEs. It is a way to reconnect to Bali’s true economic scale but also to adjust to the very cautious forethought of today’s so-called new normal.

BIC doesn’t bet on radical expansion, like tourism in the past, but on diversification. “Our approach to the island economics is holistic,” he articulates, once again saying a word rarely used in the world of finance. “Bali needs economic stability where tourism will just represent an added income. Bali doesn’t need big international players, but small and medium enterprises which invest in people. We need here to override the logic of outright profit and give our trust to the people,” says Tom Courly. Everything in a spirit of collaboration is outlined by the Indonesian concept of “gotong-royong”, that BIC has made its own since the public launching of their activities last June in Pererenan, Bali.

 

We also do monitoring and act as mentors

Who are the investees targeted by BIC? Any local startup company with “good ideas” about the economic restructuring of Bali. The startup must have completed the “seed stage”, meaning it has already started to prove itself in the real world. It must also be committed to innovative entrepreneurship with added value for the people at the bottom of the economic pyramid and/or the environment. If your business is looking for some growth equity (expansion capital), then you should contact them to progress through their steps. “We don’t just act as bankers to the companies. We also do monitoring and act as mentors once a deal is made. It’s very strategic in a sense, as we help the business to succeed, hence we’re able to remove some risk from the investment,” details the young manager.

Bali Investment Club is a financial tool adapted to the tiny size and huge fame of the island. It pays homage to the unparalleled shine of this mythical place with a distinctively soft approach. It claims core values that are defined in three simple words, “truth, trust, and faith”, and BIC intends to have every stakeholder consider these ideals. It wasn’t always the case in the past. Do you remember the start of mass tourism with the mammoth Nusa Dua complex in the early 80s or the failed Dubai-style polderisation of Benoa Bay more recently? Will the under-construction Kura Kura Bali project that is starting a Balinese-value-based hub for the future in Serangan really be different? Time will tell…

For the time being, BIC is betting on Bali becoming an epicenter for emerging ideas; a hub for new networks, systems, communities, and projects that redefine the way we relate to each other and the world, says its website. From a rural society thrown alive to the big mouth of mass tourism a few decades ago, it is now time to consider Bali with a different perspective on its future. A more respectful one that takes into account the people in a sustainable environment. Will investment clubs like BIC be the key to the metamorphosis? The pandemic has brought up a crucial need for change everywhere, we can fairly admit. Like Tom Courly likes to say with sincere simplicity, “invest in the change you want to see.”

Invest in the change you want to see.

Why you should invest in 2021

We are witnessing a unique time in modern history. Be it in a socio-economic, political or environmental context, 2021 is blurring the line between developed and developing nations. The desire to tackle topics like climate change, waste pollution, health, privacy, or inclusion is no longer a nice thing to do. It has become a need, and in this race, every nation is equal. 

As a result of struggling economies, we are experiencing the rise of our inherent drive to build a fairer and more sustainable world for all. 2021 brings a wave of global renewal, built on values such as collaboration and stewardship. Community is the new black.

Interest in environmental, social, and governance investing is gaining in popularity, with good reason. A sustainable investing mindset sees wealth creation as a collective exercise and a look at the portfolios of tech gurus like Elon Musk reveal that they too understand the value of impact investing. Everyday, more people now look for ways to support ventures that create paths toward a healthier planet.

As of March 2021, the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investing included 3,038 signatories. The majority of these joined in the past four years, while many had been already committed many years prior. Across the world, responsible investing assets have grown to USD 30 trillion as of 2019 (KPMG) and may reach USD 53 trillion by 2025 (Bloomberg). 

With asset management leaders like BlackRock announcing they are making sustainability the “new standard for investing”, this trend is expected to soon become the global norm. For the first time, perhaps in millenia, we are seeing signs that wealth creation is aligned to the good of the collective.

Responsible investing is a sign of global citizenship, it’s about investing more than money. It’s about investing time, care, and consideration into the world that surrounds us. And this is accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

As members of our society, our role is to ensure that today’s and tomorrow’s generations can thrive. At BIC, we view responsible investing as an intrinsic part of creating positive change. 

Shape the world you want to see. Invest in 2021.

8 Top Tips on How To Win The Pitch

Our team recently had the opportunity to be a guest-speaker at this year’s International Leadership & Innovation Festival 2021, where BIC spoke about what investors look for in early-stage startups. Our panel speakers included the founders of ANGIN and UMG Idealab, two of Indonesia’s active investment players based in Jakarta. A key talking point in the conference was the impact of COVID within the start-up environment. The general view was that the current constraints are an incredible opportunity to build the businesses of tomorrow. To entrepreneurs, there is always a “pandemic-like” scenario. The road to success has never been easy, there is no perfect landscape. We believe that entrepreneurs who can make their business work during COVID times will see even more success when the world returns to normal. Of course, access to funding is vital when considering growth and money will come from making a good first impression with investors. Here are some of the key considerations that investors look for during the pitch. Make yourself shine.

HOW TO WIN THE PITCH

1. Keep It SHORT
Investors want to see you can explain your business in a clear and simple way. Keep you pitch crisp and powerful and give more time for questions. You can always have back-up slides to do deep dives. Otherwise, focus on the overview and key info.

2. Know WHY You’re Special
Most entrepreneurs have great ideas but fail to explain that clearly in presentation. Let your audience see you’ve looked at the competition, focus on what makes you unique and why that matters to customers.

3. Learn Your NUMBERS
This is one of the most important parts of your pitch and since you’re presenting to receive funding, you need to show investors that you know all the important numbers for your business. This is often a big let-down, so take time to learn them.

4. Be REALISTIC
Many entrepreneurs dream of skyrocketing revenues. While dreaming big is important in starting a business, it’s best to model against rainy conditions. Run your numbers in the worst-case scenario (eg. COVID climate) and dial-up from there.

5. SELL Your Team
Apart from positive returns, investors look first and foremost at the team. Prove to investors that you are the right leader and that you have the best team for the job. Investors fund teams, not companies, so focus on the value your team brings.

6. Believe In YOURSELF
Pitch for funding is an achievement on its own. It means you have created enough of a business so far that you can actually present it to others. Remember what you did to get to the pitch room and channel that feeling. Be proud, stay humble.

7. Embrace TOUGH Questions
This is where you are being tested. Show investors that you can handle any question without breaking a sweat. This will tell your audience that you can manage stress well in your business and can deal with time-pressure problems on a clear head.

8. Be Funding READY
This is the last point and a big decision factor. Show investors that funding is the main thing you now need to grow the business, and that you will spend the money wisely. Explain where you’ll need help and be ready for the next step.

RECAP

Take some time to understand your pitch from an investor’s point of view. Great companies bring great ideas to life, not the other way around. Show investors you have done your best to prepare for what is coming next. Prove that you are worth the risk. We are in the middle of a new wave of global creation and to us, the perfect time to build the future is now. The world is becoming more sustainable, so build a business around the greater good and don’t be afraid to ask for help or to make mistakes. It’s how humans learn and how we progress.

Small steps lead to big achievements. Believe in the process. Keep pushing.

Think you’re ready to take the next step?

Apply for funding with BIC, we’d love to hear about your project.

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