UBS Optimus Foundation and Swiss Re Foundation invest over USD $2m to kickstart a new partnership with Terratai
Press Release – 22 November 2023
Bali, Indonesia –Terratai, Asia's foremost venture builder dedicated to driving investment into scalable nature-based companies, is delighted to announce a substantial new partnership with UBS Optimus Foundation and SwissRe Foundation today, backed by initial funding of over USD $2m to launch programs in Indonesia, with the potential to expand to South East Asia in future years.
The support of UBS Optimus Foundation and Swiss Re Foundation will be targeted towards building and scaling Terratai’s first cohort of early-stage businesses that can demonstrate quantifiable impact on nature and biodiversity, and that will deliver impact across a range of rigorously applied metrics. These include carbon mitigation and emissions avoidance, biodiversity protection and species management, habitat protection and restoration, and ecosystem service enhancement.
"The partnership between Terratai, UBS Optimus Foundation and Swiss Re Foundation demonstrates a collective commitment to rethink the way capital can be deployed towards nature-based solutions (NBS) and is a vital step in closing the global US$800bn finance gap needed to protect and restore nature annually," said Matt Leggett, CEO and Founder of Terratai. "This collaboration builds on our initial backing from RS Group, who recognised early the need to accelerate and nurture high potential business models that can protect and restore nature and support the communities who rely on it. The partnership with UBS Optimus and Swiss Re Foundation now enables us to accelerate our mission to identify bold new business models that can protect the most at-risk land and seascapes in Indonesia, and to provide the tailored support and early-stage investment needed to take these companies to scale, ultimately paving the way to a more nature-focused economy.”
Maya Ziswiler, CEO UBS Optimus Foundation, added: “Indonesia is on the frontline in the global fight against climate change. More than half of its land mass is covered by forest, and it is critical to conserve its natural capital with the help of nature-based solutions. We believe in the power of partnerships to deliver innovative, scalable solutions. Our new partnership with Terratai to protect biodiversity and the livelihoods of local communities in Indonesia, and over time across South-East Asia, is a perfect example of how we at UBS Optimus Foundation incubate impact ventures, make them investable and scalable, while ensuring that they achieve positive outcomes for climate, biodiversity and local communities.”
Stefan Huber Fux, Director at Swiss Re Foundation, said: "Terratai's mission aligns with our commitment to building a resilient world. We are excited to boost nature-based solutions, which is a key focus in our strategic commitment to build together a vibrant ecosystem with investable opportunities for solutions that have a positive impact not only on environmental challenges but also open up economic opportunities for local communities."
Recent assessments demonstrate that our global food systems – how we grow, harvest, process and trade what we eat – are inextricably dependent on nature but are also the single largest driver of nature and biodiversity loss, and responsible for over 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
ASEAN estimates suggest that Asia’s population is set to grow to 770 million by 2040, placing further pressures on marine and terrestrial ecosystems for food production. At current trajectories, South-East Asia could lose an additional 70% of natural habitat and 40% of its existing species by 2100 unless action is taken.
About the UBS Optimus Foundation
The UBS Optimus Foundation is a grant-making foundation that offers UBS clients a platform to use their wealth to drive positive social and environmental change. The Foundation selects programs that improve children’s health, education and protection, ones that have the potential to be transformative, scalable and sustainable as well as programs tackling environmental and climate issues. Note that UBS Optimus Foundation Switzerland is exclusively focused on children’s health, education and protection, while other entities of the UBS Optimus Foundation Network additionally engage in environmental and climate issues.
About Swiss Re Foundation:
The Swiss Re Foundation reflects social and humanitarian values of Swiss Re, a leading wholesale provider of reinsurance, insurance and other insurance-based forms of risk transfer. To help build resilient societies, the Foundation offers its partners tailored grant financing, access to expertise, research and capacity building as well as collaborative networks, to create measurable, lasting impacts at scale.
Terratai is Asia's first venture builder for nature, focused on small businesses delivering nature-based solutions. Initially incubated by RS Group, a family office founded with the mission to bridge the gap in early-stage capital for nature-based ventures, Terratai supports and scales impactful initiatives that address systemic challenges in the food system and environmental conservation. The organization offers impact orientated businesses support by providing financial solutions, NBS technical expertise and business development.
For media inquiries, please contact:
UBS Media Contact
Tel: +65 6495 8632
Terratai Media Contact
Tel: +61 412 845 402