SINGAPORE, 16 FEBRUARY 2023: Singapore-headquartered global investment firm Lighthouse Canton has partnered with Alta, Southeast Asia’s largest digital marketplace for alternative assets, on its new venture debt strategy. The partnership will provide Alta’s investors access to the rising venture debt asset class.
Lighthouse Canton’s venture debt strategy provides debt capital to technology-based startups with sound business models across Southeast Asia and India. Lighthouse Canton’s venture debt fund successfully reached a first close early in January 2023 after it received eager participation from global institutions and family offices. Following the first close, Lighthouse Canton says it has started deploying capital across five companies from the FinTech, HealthTech, PropTech and Consumer Tech sectors.
Both Lighthouse Canton and Alta see a huge opportunity for venture debt rising across Southeast Asia. Venture debt is relatively a new asset class in Southeast Asia and has a long way to go when compared with the US and Europe. More than US$30 billion has been loaned to VC-funded start-ups in the US between 2019-2021. Meanwhile, according to estimates venture debt investments in Southeast Asia were less than US$1 billion in 2021.
The strategic partnership between the two firms will offer Alta’s investors access to the investment strategy through Alta’s platform. As such Alta’s investor community will be well positioned to mobilize capital for the region’s startup ecosystem.
"We are excited to be partnering with Alta to offer their investors access to the asset class,” said Lighthouse Canton's Global Head of Asset Management, Sanket Sinha. "In more mature venture ecosystems such as the US and Europe, venture debt has risen to 15-20% of the total VC funding, whereas this proportion is less than 2% in India and Southeast Asia. We see tremendous opportunity for venture debt and expect the size of this market to grow 3-4 times in the next five years.”
Kelvin Lee, Alta’s Co-founder and CEO, said: “We are certain the pace of venture capital activities will actively grow with tremendous opportunities, which will only continue to increase its demand.”
“At Alta, we are devoted to creating access for our global community of over 1 million investors to innovative opportunities and pave the way for firms like Lighthouse Canton to connect with strategic investors that best suit them,” said Kelvin.
Lighthouse Canton’s venture debt strategy comprises a Singapore based Variable Capital Company (VCC) for investments in Southeast Asia, and a Category II Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) for investments in India. It had earlier launched a partnership to invest in venture equity in the Indian startup ecosystem, and successfully closed a US$40m fund to invest in 27 pre-series A and series A companies across various sectors.
Alta, formerly known as Fundnel, is Southeast Asia’s largest digital marketplace for alternative investments. Fundnel Pte. Ltd. is regulated in Singapore by the Monetary Authority of Singapore as a capital markets services license holder and an exempt financial advisor. In 2022, Alta acquired digital securities exchange Hg Exchange, bringing its private capital markets, fund management, and exchange businesses under one roof. Through its blockchain-powered exchange (previously known as Hg Exchange), Alta is also able to support tokenisation, digital custody, and trading of alternative assets.
Today, while more investors are looking to increase their allocation to alternative assets, the high costs of investing and illiquidity of private markets can often give many investors pause. Since 2016, Alta has completed over 1,000 transactions valued in excess of US$600 million and has created access for investors to invest in over US$22 billion worth of mandated opportunities globally.
Alta is headquartered in Singapore and operates several offices across Southeast Asia. For more information, visit https://alta.exchange/