Singapore-headquartered global investment firm Lighthouse Canton has partnered with Alta, a Singapore-based 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, both parties said in a statement on Thursday.

According to the statement, 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.

They opined that 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.

According to the statement, more than $30 billion has been loaned to venture capital-funded start- ups in the United States between 2019-2021.

Meanwhile, according to estimates, they said venture debt investments in Southeast Asia were less than $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 percent to 20 percent of the total venture capital funding, whereas this proportion is less than 2 percent in India and Southeast Asia,

“We see tremendous opportunity for venture debt and expect the size of this market to grow three to four times in the next five years,” he added.

Alta’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Kelvin Lee said the firm is 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,” he added.

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 $40 million 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.

The firm 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.

Since 2016, Alta has completed over 1,000 transactions valued in excess of $600 million and has created access for investors to invest in over $22 billion worth of mandated opportunities globally.

Alta is headquartered in Singapore and operates several offices across Southeast Asia.

Headquartered in Singapore, Lighthouse Canton is a global investment institution with wealth and asset management capabilities.

The firm employs over 100 experienced professionals across its offices in Singapore, Dubai and India, and oversees over $3 billion worth of assets under management and advisory (as of Sep 30, 2022).

Lighthouse Canton creates value through innovative investment solutions for accredited private clients, institutional investors and an ecosystem of founders and entrepreneurs globally.

The firm’s asset management service comprises strong product capabilities across
private and public markets.

The company runs diversified strategies such as private equity in real estate, direct lending, venture equity, venture debt, public equities, and global macros.

Lighthouse Canton’s wealth management service caters to corporates, ultra-high net worth individuals, family offices, founders and entrepreneurs, to help with their personal and business investment needs, with tailored investment advisory, portfolio management, treasury, business and family office solutions.

The firm is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and is an Exempt Reporting Adviser (ERA) in the United States.

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