Agritech startup Mayani named one of ‘climate and nature impact innovators’

From The Business Inquirer

SINGAPORE—Mayani, a five-year-old Filipino company on a mission “to uplift the lives of Filipino farmers and fisherfolk by harnessing the transformative power of technology,” has been named one of the first five climate and nature impact innovators to take part in the Amplifier mentorship program launched here at the Philanthropy Asia Summit 2024.

Along with Circ of the United States, Hong Kong’s GRST and Indonesia’s MYCL and Sampangan, Mayani will receive up to 250,000 Singaporean dollars (P10.5 million) in funding, supported by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth as Impact Innovation Partner, as well as expertise and mentorship from a pool of over 30 global and regional industry leaders.

Mayani and the other four startups in the first cohort of “impact startups” were selected from among 139 submissions from 35 countries based on impact (mission and impact potential, materiality and accountability), business (feasibility, viability, and execution ability) and alignment with the program.

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The Amplifier program was launched and is managed by the Centre for Impact Investing and Practices (CIIP) and Philanthropy Asia Alliance (PAA) of the Temasek Trust ecosystem with the support of over 30 industry partners, including prominent global and regional leaders across sectors.

“Asia is a hotbed of innovation, with a thriving startup culture across many markets. We’re seeing more startups seeking to address complex social and environmental issues, but they too struggle with the ‘valley of death’, lacking access to expert guidance, advisors, and funding beyond the initial seed round,” says CIIP CEO Dawn Chan.

A ‘whole-of-ecosystem’ approach
 
“Empowering these promising startups to achieve scalable and financially sustainable impact requires the efforts of the wider ecosystem,” Chan adds.

The Amplifier capacity-building program will run for 12 months and is designed to help impact startups become commercially viable and scale positive impact in Asia.

The Amplifier takes a “whole-of-ecosystem” approach, bringing together experts, mentors, and resources from across industries and sectors, to collectively bolster impact ventures in scaling their business.

Themed “Climate and Nature,” Amplifier’s 2024 program is focused on scaling solutions around sustainable agriculture, circular business models, waste management, sustainable materials, and emissions reduction.

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Mayani cofounder and CEO JT Solis says the Amplifier support came at a critical juncture of its journey as it tackles some of the most pressing problems looming over the agri-fisheries sector, from extreme weather conditions to rural financial exclusion and food insecurity.

“The sector is challenged in ways that we’ve never seen before,” says Solis in a statement, “And in our pursuit of those multifaceted solutions that can drive financial returns and positive impact in equal measure, we wanted to leverage Amplifier and the Temasek Trust ecosystem entities CIIP and PAA in charting that path ahead.”

Expanding a network of farmers, fisherfolk
 
He tells the Inquirer that aside from leveraging the Temasek Trust ecosystem, Mayani intends to use the money to expand its network of smallholder farmers and fisherfolk to as many as one million across 12 regions, from the current 144,000 smallholder farmers and fisherfolk in eight regions.

“This means activating our supply chain operations in those regions, building their market base, and providing them climate-positive agricultural inputs (i.e. bio-fertilizers) as well as the rural credit to be able to finance those inputs and accelerate that transition toward more sustainable farming practices,” Solis says.

Mayani intends to achieve these goals with the guidance of ABC Impact (also part of the Temasek group), 500Global, and Schneider Electric Energy Access Asia, which will be their mentors under the Amplifier program.

“We are deeply grateful for the steadfast support from our extensive network of partners, which has been instrumental in the successful launch of the Amplifier. They each bring unique and invaluable contributions as mentors, reference clients, or funders— many of whom are eager to deepen their involvement beyond capital deployment. This collaborative approach not only enables mentees to scale their impactful solutions but also paves the way for transformative change, particularly in this critical era where urgent climate action is imperative,” says Lim Seok Hui, CEO of PAA.

The Amplifier welcomes more partners to come on board—whether as a funder, mentor, and/or a reference client to pilot or trial a company’s products and/or services and provide feedback, as well as in-kind resources, services, and advice.