We help purpose-driven entrepreneurs build bold solutions to pressing problems
Moonshot Ventures is an impact investor, which provides investment, venture building and support programs to purpose-driven founders and startups, so that they can develop innovative and disruptive solutions to the most difficult problems facing Southeast Asia.
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The Indonesia Women Empowerment Fund (IWEF) invests in startups with women founders and solutions that empower women in Indonesia. Click below to learn more.
Moonshot Ventures is an impact investor that was launched in 2020 with a mission to address the leading social and environmental issues faced in Southeast Asia today. To achieve this, we support purpose-driven founders and startups, and we work with them to build innovative and disruptive solutions. The support we provide is focused around investment, venture building and in-kind assistance programs.
The support we offer addresses one particular issue at a time, and we collaborate with partners from across all sectors, who share our purpose and can lend unique expertise and resources to tackle the same problem together.
Our team is passionate about the power of entrepreneurship and disruptive innovation to help solve the world’s biggest challenges. We bring together regional and global experience working across sectors and in building solutions to intractable problems, with leading tech startups, venture capital and impact investing firms, international development NGOs and government agencies.
Susli heads-up investments in Indonesia and oversees the ESG practice at Monk's Hill Ventures, a leading early stage venture capital firm in Southeast Asia, where she is a partner. She previously founded ErudiFi, a VC-backed fintech startup providing affordable educational loans, and she was one of the first women from Southeast Asia admitted to Y Combinator, the renowned accelerator program in Silicon Valley. She was formerly Asia-Pacific Chief of Staff for Oliver Wyman. Susli serves as Moonshot’s Chairperson.
Susli holds degrees from Yale University, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
Founder & Managing Partner
Tom brings 25 years of experience as a founder, impact investor and advisor to startups, primarily in Asia-Pacific. Previously, Tom co-founded two successful impact investing firms in Asia, and held regional leadership roles with Ashoka and other leading global impact investing organizations.
Tom holds degrees from Oxford University, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government (HKS).
Dinda has 15 years of operating experience in Indonesia growing local businesses and startups, and representing international VCs and venture studios there. She is a very active mentor with many of the capacity building organizations in Indonesia’s startup community, where she advocates for and supports women entrepreneurs.
Dinda holds a degree from Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB).
Jesse van de Zand
Jesse lends 15 years of experience, first as a M&A lawyer working with startups and VCs, then as an entrepreneur, and as head of investments for several impact investors in the region. In addition, Jesse led venture building activities in Asia, and established the India and Indonesia offices for the leading international venture studio in the impact sector.
Jesse holds degrees from the University of Amsterdam Law School, and Radboud University Law School.
Hans was trained as a industrial mechanic (production engineering) in Germany and worked in the automotive industry before turning to International Development, joining Swisscontact - the Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation, which addresses poverty reduction through private sector development. There, he helped manage operations for the Regional Investment Support for Entrepreneurs (RISE), a SME-focused program funded by USAID, providing technical assistance to growth-oriented enterprises in Southeast Asia.
Hans holds a degree from HTWG Konstanz - University of Applied Sciences.
The urgency and magnitude of the world’s leading challenges, from climate change to poverty and wealth inequality, far exceed the public funding available to tackle these. However, we believe that innovation and entrepreneurship can play an important role in meeting these challenges and bridging the funding gap.
Disruptive innovations have the potential to bring fresh approaches to intractable problems that can be both transformational and rapidly rolled out, such as the internet, mobile telephony, or mRNA vaccines, to name but a few in recent years. Furthermore, such innovations can open doors to entrepreneurial and commercial opportunities, which the likes of agile startups can build upon to reach large user bases at radically affordable prices. After initial seeding, these startups also have the potential to attract investment and support from private capital and intermediaries, which can supplement far more limited public resources, and sustainably fuel their growth and scale their impact.
As an impact investor, we strive for impact through nurturing and fostering these purpose-driven founders and startups, who are building disruptive commercial solutions to the world’s leading problems - starting with our own region in Southeast Asia. We particularly focus on markets and sectors where funding and support is initially lacking, such as with early stage startups in the still maturing ecosystems of many emerging markets, or among under-represented groups, such as women founders or founders from diverse backgrounds.
However, the scale of the problems that our region faces goes beyond the capacity of any one organisation and can only be solved with joint effort across all sectors. So, we work with partners from every sector to create shared value and to pool resources, which can propel the startups we support and catalyse private investors to follow suit. And part of this work is to promote new approaches to impact investing that can engage a wider audience and so further galvanise collaborative action.
Example of our Approach
The Indonesia Women Empowerment Fund (IWEF) is a ‘Gender Lens Investing’ impact fund that Moonshot Ventures led the launch of in 2020. Through seed-stage investment and in-kind assistance, the fund supports women founders, who are at the beginning of their journey in building innovative solutions to improve livelihoods for women throughout Indonesia. The tech driven solutions born out of these startups cut across all sectors, while in unison focus on empowering women in Indonesia as their customers and beneficiaries - and they range from Fintech services that promote financial inclusion, through to Edtech coding academies that prepare primarily under-represented young women for better paid jobs in Indonesia’s burgeoning digital economy.
IWEF was launched thanks to the pooling of resources from foundation and government partners, and all of its portfolio startups successfully attracted commercial private investors for their onward growth. Furthermore, in order to instil greater accountability and transparency in impact investing, and so appeal to a wider audience, IWEF was designed with a novel ‘Impact Linked Carry’ model that rewards its investment team only according to the verifiable impact it achieves through its startups. (See more about IWEF and its Impact Linked Carry model below.)
Gender Lens Investing
Gender Lens Investing (GLI), the practice of investing while promoting benefits to women, is grounded in what we do at Moonshot Ventures. It’s an approach that is embedded in how we operate across all our programs, including the importance we place in maintaining our own gender balanced team and opening up the field of impact investing to more diverse backgrounds. It also guides the features of our programs, which we design with the needs of women entrepreneurs in mind.
GLI also underpins our initial impact focus. All our current programs support startups building solutions that improve livelihoods for women as customers and beneficiaries; and we work primarily with startup teams that include women among the founders, given that women-led startups are drastically overlooked by typical investors.
But promoting women’s empowerment isn’t just about seeking equitable outcomes, it is also one of the most powerful approaches to boosting economic welfare throughout society. This impact focus also cuts across all sectors and industries, and is readily open to disruptive innovations to help drive change, making it a great starting point in Moonshot’s impact journey.
Impact in Numbers
Some of our recent programs :
In 2021, we launched SheDisrupts as the largest startup competition and pre-acceleration program for women entrepreneurs in Indonesia. SheDisrupts is fully remote and offers tools, training and in-kind assistance to help women participants transform their ideas into businesses that advance the economic empowerment of women.
The program was led by a coalition of cross-sector partners, which included UNDP, UN Women, Citibank and Creatella Impact, among others. It has become an annual fixture and has been successfully replicated in Vietnam, and the Philippines, with more regional countries planned. Preparations are underway to launch SheDisrupts Indonesia 2022 later this year …
The Indonesia Women Empowerment Fund (IWEF) is the first Gender Lens Investing venture fund dedicated to Indonesia. IWEF invests in early stage tech startups, which are led by women, and whose solutions improve livelihoods for women across Indonesia.
IWEF is jointly operated by Moonshot Ventures and YCAB Foundation, a leading advocate of women entrepreneurs in Indonesia, and is sponsored by the Australian Government via its Investing in Women program.
As startups prepare to launch, many founders struggle to understand how to prepare their fledgling businesses for professional investment, even if their potential for growth and success are great. In answering to this capacity gap, our Investment Ready! program prepares purpose-driven startups led by women founders in Indonesia for their first institutional investment round. Over an extended period, newly formed startups gain intensive coaching and operational guidance, as well as catalytic funding, to ready them to secure and meet the needs of institutional investment that will propel their growth trajectory.
Moonshot is committed to supporting innovation, learning and collaboration among our peers in the impact ecosystem. Here are a couple of examples, and follow-us on LinkedIn to learn about our other initiatives.
IMM & Managing Impact Performance
As part of the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network’s masterclass series on Impact Measurement and Management (IMM), hear from our Managing Partner, Tom Schmittzehe, on how we support startups beyond investment, how our Impact Linked Carry works, and how all this contributes to a novel ‘integrated’ approach to IMM.
B20-G20 One Global Women Empowerment platform
In August 2022, Moonshot was honoured to collaborate in the B20-G20’s launch of the One Global Women Empowerment (OGWE) platform, a new cross-border initiative to foster women's inclusion in the global economy. Click below to learn more.
Our Partners to Date
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Moonshot Ventures is an impact investor, which supports purpose-driven entrepreneurs to build innovative solutions to pressing development issues in Southeast Asia
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