Freeware Spaces was packed with startup ecosystem players on Tuesday, August 7th, mingling over dinner and excited to learn about a burgeoning topic: gender lens investing. One of ANGIN’s very own angels, Virginia Tan, the founder of Teja Ventures, spoke on the fine details of gender lens investment and why investors in China are blazing the way forward on this risk-mitigation, profit-friendly investment thesis. Joining her were accomplished speakers from the startup and VC space: Melina Subastian of Alpha JWC Ventures, Dea Surjadi of Golden Gate Ventures, and Florian Holm, former co-CEO of Lazada Indonesia.
Here are a few key takeaways from the event:
- Gender Lens Investment doesn’t just mean investing in female founders: You can invest in a male founder using gender lens as well. In fact, the entire founding team could be male. They just have to understand and effectively capture female users.
- Industries with largely women consumers are highly lucrative: And that doesn’t just mean period apps and baby diapers. Fintech and lending are words that people don’t necessarily associate with gender, but makes sense to view under a gender lens. After all, women and men borrow for very different reasons – women usually to provide for their families and increase the well-being of their communities. And because of this and other factors, repayment rates are higher amongst female borrowers. This boils down to risk management, plain and simple. Are most of your borrowers male? That becomes a risk. Female? You might have a higher chance of survival as a lender.
- The Chinese have gender lens investment down to an art: But funnily enough, “gender lens investment” is not a concept in China. Why? The Chinese are highly pragmatic and see business as business. If women-led businesses are less risky, if women-targeted industries are more lucrative, then money will naturally flow to these. It is already understood that, for instance, new mothers are some of the biggest spenders, and that women tend to spend heavily on education, for instance. That’s why edtech is hot in China. They just get it.
- The Indonesian market may be early, which means now is the time: Gender lens investment is a relatively new concept in many countries, Indonesia being no exception. While others are not looking, it is the perfect time now to jump in and start investing in industries and startups previously unconsidered or overlooked.
Both ANGIN and Teja Ventures would like to thank every single person for coming to our event. We are excited to host more events like these for our network, to start dialogues, and to encourage further mingling and connections to be made. Stay tuned for our next event!
About Teja Ventures:
Teja Ventures is the first venture capital fund committed to investing with a gender lens across Asia. It will focus on investing in companies in China and South East Asia, leveraging on synergies between the two geographies. In addition to objective investment criteria, the gender lens it employs targets businesses which are either women-led, focus on women consumer-led markets, or which create positive impact on women in the wider ecosystem. The fund will focus on investment opportunities in the financial inclusion / fintech, consumption, edtech and content economy verticals.