Co-Axis: Connecting Impact Start-ups with Funders and Expert Advisors

12 Oct 2023

To support and scale global impact opportunities, the upcoming Co-Axis platform by Temasek Trust, DBS Foundation, and other industry partners will connect early-stage impact start-ups and projects with like-minded funders and solution providers who share a commitment to addressing social and environmental challenges.

This first-of-its-kind digital marketplace for catalytic capital is targeted at accredited philanthropists, family offices, foundations, development finance institutions (DFIs), and other financiers looking to accelerate impact. They can get direct access to individual companies or projects that resonate with them personally, or to pooled funds run by select fund managers across philanthropic themes.

Investors and donors will also be able to measure their impact contribution, while the projects or fundraisers get access to guidance and tools on measuring and managing impact.

Co-Axis will be developed in phases. In the first phase – to be unveiled at the next Philanthropy Asia Summit, which will be co-located with Temasek’s Ecosperity in April 2024 – the platform will offer a curated set of opportunities in the social and environmental spaces. It supports innovators, enterprises, fintechs, and charitable organisations looking to create a positive impact. 

Mr. Piyush Gupta, CEO, DBS, said: “To tackle the growing issues of social inequality and climate change, now more than ever, it is important to draw on a broader ecosystem to enable and accelerate change.  Through this (Co-Axis) initiative, we look forward to having more partners join us in supporting the growth of impactful solutions to build a better world for all.”


Building the Infrastructure for an Impact Marketplace

The key features of Co-Axis include expert advisors, community and network, training and capacity building, impact monitoring and reporting, and access to a diversified portfolio.

On the digital platform, accredited philanthropists and high-net-worth individuals can provide funding through innovative financial instruments – be it donations, recoverable grants, blended finance, or embedded instruments. Any returns will be recycled back to impact opportunities, thus amplifying the impact of the initial contribution. In the longer term, Co-Axis will pioneer more innovative financial instruments to unlock, and potentially blend, liquidity across the entire spectrum of capital. 

Beyond facilitating crowdfunding for impact start-ups, Co-Axis – short for collaborative action to accelerate impact and sustainability – will also act as a hub for sharing best practices and key learnings through innovative financing, networking, education, and training. One of its goals is to build a network of philanthropists, DFIs, investors, and corporates to explore new mechanisms for philanthropy.


Why Catalyse Impact in Asia?

The global gap to sustainable development is widening. As we stand at the midpoint of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, most of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are not on track. The annual gap to achieving the SDGs is about US$4 trillion, up from US$2.5 trillion in the pre-pandemic days.

Asia and emerging markets are underrepresented – of the more than US$1 trillion global impact investment market, only about one-quarter is allocated to Asia.

There is also a huge need for impact in Asia – without climate action, the region’s economy could decrease 26.5% by 2048. Asia also accounts for more than half of global carbon emissions.

That said, there is an immense opportunity to address these needs. The UN Development Programme’s (UNDP) SDG Investor Maps has identified more than 130 investment opportunity areas in Asia, across food and beverage, healthcare, financials, education, and more.


To tap on these opportunities, philanthropists and investors will need to be able to identify and support early-stage, high-impact innovators. With Co-Axis, they can also build an impact-oriented community with access to impact strategy and management training.

We need a “whole of ecosystem” approach, underpinned by a shared purpose, to bring the community together. Embracing partnerships across a spectrum of stakeholders – including corporates, service and solution providers, philanthropists, investors, and global standard setters – will accelerate and scale impact.


Join Co-Axis

More financial institutions and industry actors are expected to join Co-Axis over time, as we build a hub to catalyse capital, spark ideas, and spur innovation.

Here are some ways you can become a Co-Axis partner:

  • Sign up: Use the platform to source impact projects for your organisation or your clients
  • Provide funding: Pledge capital either to build the platform or to fund projects on the platform
  • Feature your projects: Fundraise on the platform for impact projects or funds within your ecosystem
  • Build with us: Take a more active role in this journey with us – we welcome ideas

To find out more about Co-Axis and how you can get involved, please contact us at [email protected]. Follow Temasek Trust on LinkedIn for the latest updates.

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Co-Axis: Connecting Impact Start-ups with Funders and Expert Advisors


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