Heritas Capital’s Impact Fund Leads Investment Into Singapore-Based Social Enterprise

Asia’s impact investment platform Heritas Capital, through its Asia Impact First Fund (AIFF) launched in 2023 with DBS Foundation as its knowledge partner and DBS, Tsao Family Office and IMC as anchor / co-anchor investors, has led a SGD 2 million investment into The Gentle Group, a Singapore-based social enterprise providing integrated food solutions and care services for underserved communities with dysphagia.

AIFF is an impact-first fund that provides patient catalytic capital for innovative and high-potential social enterprises in Asia. SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, has co-invested alongside AIFF.

Dysphagia is a medical term for swallowing difficulties, and can occur due to medical conditions like stroke, degenerative diseases, and in head and neck cancer. It is often associated with malnutrition, dehydration, chest infection and in some cases, even death.

The number of individuals with dysphagia continues to grow with our ageing population, with studies indicating that about 15 per cent of elderly are affected by the condition.

The catalytic growth capital by AIFF and SEEDS Capital will support The Gentle Group in expanding its new central kitchen operations to increase production capacity for texture-modified food solutions.

In collaboration with its ecosystem of partners, the company aims to more than triple the current annual number of individuals served, further extending its proven track record of providing integrated food solutions and care services for the underserved dysphagic community.

The Gentle Group was founded in 2017 and is an early mover in providing therapeutic food solutions in Singapore. Through its GentleFoods brand, the company provides texture-modified food that is safe, nutritious, and tasty, helping to stimulate appetite and bring the joy of food back into the lives of individuals with dysphagia.

To further support the early diagnosis and recovery of patients, the company’s clinical arm GentleCare provides complementary care services including speech therapy and nutrition consultation.

The company also provides training and workshop programmes for healthcare professionals, caregivers, and the public to increase awareness of dysphagia and share best practices for the caring of people with dysphagia.

Heritas Capital, SEEDS Capital, and DBS Foundation have been early backers of The Gentle Group; Heritas Capital and SEEDS Capital provided initial seed funding in 2020, while DBS Foundation as well as Heritas Cares supported the company with philanthropic grant funding and mentorship since 2021.

“It’s a privilege to have been part of The Gentle Group’s journey since they were awarded a DBS Foundation grant in 2021. As they scale with this injection of catalytic capital, we believe The Gentle Group will dramatically improve the quality of life of those with dysphagia. The need for “gentle food” will become increasingly acute in the coming years, as one in four in Singapore will be 65 or older by 2030”, said Karen Ngui, Managing Director and Head, DBS Foundation and DBS Group Strategic Marketing and Communications.