Indonesia-focused, early-stage venture capital firm AC Ventures (ACV) announced Wednesday that it has published Indonesia’s impact report to date on the local digital economy.

In the report titled “Scaling Impact With Technology,” ACV analyzed its own operations, as well as those of its portfolio companies, to offer a numerical baseline for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting in the nation’s tech scene and digital economy.

In partnership with Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and with support from The Upright Project in Europe (Upright), ACV carried out a rigorous analysis to better understand the tangible effects it is having on the environment and society in the archipelago.

Upright is a tech company based in Helsinki, Finland. Its mission is to create incentives for companies to optimize their net impact. It produces data that helps institutional investors and companies make smarter decisions for the future, with ESG reporting in mind.

Using Upright’s tech, ACV is the first venture capital firm in Southeast Asia to report on impact using quantifiable measures that meet European standards. 

At the heart of the study is a metric known by industry practitioners as the ‘net impact ratio.’ This is a percentage score used to quantify how effectively a group of companies turns resources into positive impact.

In the report, it measures how  ACV and its portfolio performed in terms of ‘environment,’ ‘health,’ ‘society,’ and ‘knowledge.’ 
ACV’s overall net impact ratio delivered an above-average +37% with its strongest areas being ‘society’ and ‘health.’ To provide useful context, the Nasdaq Small Cap Index (NQUSS) features an average net impact ratio of +29%. 

As a forward-thinking investment company, ACV is committed to diversity and inclusion. Within the firm, 50 percent of its senior leadership roles are occupied by women. Across the portfolio, this figure comes in at approximately 40 percent.

In the report, ACV also unpacks the net impact of multiple portfolio companies and shares insights about their sectors and why they scored the way they did.  

“The purpose of this debut report is to give ACV, our portfolio companies, and the tech ecosystem in general a baseline for what to report and how to report in terms of ESG and impact,” said Lauren Blasco, Principle and Head of ESG at ACV.

“There is no more important time to do this than right now, as companies are increasingly being held to higher standards around the world,

“Running these net impact assessments today actually puts the startups we invest in on the best footing possible for the future when this kind of reporting inevitably becomes more of a mandate,” he added.

ACV Founder and Managing Partner Adrian Li said the key to creating long-term sustainable companies is through empowering founders to build companies which generate value not only for the economy but for society and the environment.

“By using net impact ratios, we are now able to measure value creation explicitly for society and the environment,

“This will be as important as financial metrics in evaluating the performance of new companies and our portfolio companies,” he added.

According to the statement, ESG is a framework for addressing long-term risks that organizations may face in years to come.

Cited Bloomberg Intelligence, it said global ESG assets are likely to exceed $41 trillion in 2022 and $50 trillion by 2025.

“Our commitment to finding and catalyzing effective solutions to pressing societal issues is at the heart of our company’s purpose. And we know we can make the greatest impact through collaboration,

“Through this report with AC Ventures, and with the support from The Upright Project, we hope to leverage our contribution in supporting Indonesia’s businesses on the road to achieving environmental, sustainability, and governance compliance,” said Neels Steyn, Venture Architect Director for BCG Digital Ventures.

“As a market with one of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia, societal issues are no longer the issues of tomorrow for Indonesia, but a current challenge that needs to be addressed,

“The report showcases how we will be able to see more contribution towards the nation’s sustainable and inclusive economic growth by supporting equal digital access and development in Indonesia,” he added.

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