Circulate Capital, the investment management firm dedicated to incubating and financing companies and infrastructure that prevent ocean plastic in South and Southeast Asia (SSEA), announced the first close of the $106 million Circulate Capital Ocean Fund (CCOF). It is the world’s first investment fund dedicated to address Asia’s plastic crisis and is also one of the 10 largest ASEAN-based Venture Capital Funds in the market.
CCOF’s founding investors are among the world’s leading companies, including PepsiCo, the first investor; Procter & Gamble; Dow; Danone; Unilever; The Coca-Cola Company; and Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC.
With 60 percent of ocean plastic originating from the region, Asia is the biggest source of plastic leakage into global oceans. A recent Ocean Conservancy Report identified a net financing gap between $28 and $40 per ton for plastic waste collection in the five top ocean polluting countries in the world—China, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
“The good news is that we are able to reduce nearly 50 percent of the world’s plastic leakage by investing in the waste and recycling sector in Asia, and even more if we invest in innovative materials and technologies. This is why we are here in Singapore—a strategic hub of Southeast Asia—to prove that investing in this sector is scalable for the region and can generate competitive returns, while moving closer to solving the ocean plastic crisis,” said Rob Kaplan, CEO of Circulate Capital, in a statement.
To address the financing gap between available private capital and the resources needed by Asia’s waste industry systems, CCOF will provide both debt and equity financing to waste management, recycling and circular economy startups in South and Southeast Asia focused on preventing plastic pollution and advancing the circular economy. Circulate Capital has identified more than 200 potential investment opportunities across a range of industries in the region, with its first investments targeted for the end of 2019.
Circulate Capital’s investment model seeks to mobilize institutional investors by blending concessionary funds with investment capital. Its objective is to demonstrate that investments in turning waste into value can ultimately provide attractive financial returns.