Focus on Innovative Climate Technology Solutions.

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A recent conference titled “Unlocking Climate Tech in the Philippines” emphasized the need for tech-enabled startups in the country to not only help communities adapt to climate change but also accelerate large-scale efforts to reduce carbon emissions. This event was organized by Digital Pilipinas, a leading private sector initiative dedicated to fostering innovation and technology in the region, and was conducted in collaboration with The Radical Fund, a venture capital fund focused on promoting an inclusive climate transition in Southeast Asia. The conference brought together founders and key players in the climate tech sector in Southeast Asia who are actively working on solutions to address the climate crisis.

This conference was part of the lead-up to the Digital Pilipinas Festival Year 2, scheduled for November 21-24, 2023, at SMX Aura and various other venues across the country. This festival, envisioned as a “festival of festivals,” is expected to be the largest gathering of industry leaders and national representatives, aiming to establish new standards for collaborative progress. It will host the Sustainability and Climate Festival, which will feature in-depth discussions on sustainability and climate technology solutions, emphasizing the pressing need for climate innovations and their scaling.

Amor Maclang

Amor Maclang, the Convenor of Digital Pilipinas and Co-founder of GeiserMaclang, expressed optimism about the Philippines’ ability to navigate the challenging climate landscape and become a resilient and sustainable nation with the active involvement of innovative startups and eager investors.

The conference featured notable speakers who are leading the charge against climate change through technology. These speakers included Amor Maclang, Alina Truhina, CEO and Founding Partner of The Radical Fund, Zachary Lee, Head of Investments at The Radical Fund, Marco Concio, CEO and Co-founder of KITA, Jo Ann Eala, Vice President of the Bank of the Philippine Islands, Enrique Gonzalez, Chief Executive Officer of IP Ventures, Karla Delgado, Chief Sustainability Officer of the Transnational Diversified Group, Dustin Jefferson Onghanseng, CEO of UHOo, and Kelvin Lee, Commissioner at the Securities and Exchange Commission. They underscored the urgent need to develop technology-driven solutions to combat the climate crisis and stressed the importance of nurturing a supportive ecosystem for climate tech startups. This support includes access to funding, mentorship, and strategic partnerships.

Truhina emphasized that Southeast Asia is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, but investment efforts have primarily favored US and European ventures. The Radical Fund, in contrast, focuses on regional investments at the early stages of venture capital to build an ecosystem and pipeline of climate-oriented companies with solutions tailored to the specific needs of Southeast Asian markets.

The Radical Fund specializes in investing in founders at the pre-seed and pre-Series A stages who are located in Southeast Asia or have a presence in the region. The fund supports technology-driven ventures that aim to deliver both commercial returns and positive climate outcomes for local and regional populations.

The team of Radical Fund consists of six members based in Bangkok and Singapore, with additional global team members located in London, UK. They are actively seeking to expand their team by hiring members in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia. The fund is financially supported by prominent family offices in the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, as well as individual investors from the United States and Europe.

Radical Fund’s focus is on investing in the next generation of entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia who are working on climate adaptation and mitigation solutions. By doing so, they aim to accelerate the development of localized solutions that can be scaled across emerging markets in the region.

The fund’s investment strategy extends beyond traditional cleanTech and climateTech sectors. They are interested in backing ventures that may not fit the typical mold of climate-focused businesses but still have the potential to create climate impact through their model and ethos. This includes companies in various sectors such as Agriculture, Food, Circular Economy, Financial services, Mobility/Logistics, and other related areas.

Enrique Gonzalez, Radical Fund’s partner in the Philippines, highlighted the fund’s commitment to supporting local startups, particularly in the Philippines, a nation vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. The goal is to empower Filipino entrepreneurs who are developing innovative businesses to address the challenges of climate change and its impact on their country.

The Radical Fund operates as part of the Utopia Capital Management (UCM) group, which has a track record of supporting over 130 early-stage ventures across multiple emerging markets. UCM has a team of more than 55 full-time experts and an extensive network across Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the United States. Other entities within the UCM group include Founders Factory Africa and its associated funds in Africa, co-founded by Alina Truhina and Roo Rogers.

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