We create sustainable value by building consumer internet companies that address big societal needs – they improve people’s everyday lives and enrich the communities they serve. We believe that by creating supportive environments for visionary entrepreneurs in the world’s most exciting markets, we enable them to deliver maximum positive impact for the planet and its people.
As an investor in pioneering technologies, our software-driven and asset-light digital services are developing sustainable solutions for big societal needs. Our locally owned and built businesses are not only driving innovation in key areas of life – from finance to education – but are creating jobs and helping to transform social and economic inequalities.
Sustainable development is contingent on economic growth, but we recognise that growth and profit are not enough. The investments we make have the potential to transform inequalities and drive innovation. We pursue growth by building leading companies that empower people and enrich communities.
By integrating sustainability considerations into all our decision-making – from capital allocation to performance management – we are building a portfolio of low carbon businesses that also contribute to social progress. Across our portfolio, we set group-wide standards for responsible investment and ethical business in the application of fast-moving technologies such as fintech and Edtech.
We actively engage in the environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of our portfolio companies. Acquiring a controlling interest in a company implies a higher level of accountability and influence with a consequent cascading of our business values and our ESG principles. Our influence on controlled and non-controlling businesses varies with each investment, but the principles which guide us are consistent.
The board retains oversight of the sustainability agenda for the group, including our climate action strategy and plan. The review and approval of business and financial plans, including sustainability targets and resource allocations are steered by relevant board committees.
A regular cadence of meetings enables the board, supported by multiple board committees, including the risk committee, the sustainability committee and the governance committee, to retain oversight on the progress made on the implementation of the sustainability strategy for the group and the management of sustainability risks and opportunities across the portfolio.
The risk committee and the sustainability committee must meet at least twice every year and every board meeting includes sustainability as a standard agenda item, demonstrating the prominence of the topic and ensures the board is informed on ESG and climate-related risks frequently to steer on actions where needed.
We value input from all stakeholders and seek a continuous exchange of information and ideas, in particular from engaging with the following:
Customers and users
Our investees want to help customers and users improve their everyday lives.
Our employees are at the heart of our success. Their commitment and entrepreneurial drive make all the difference.
Investors and shareholders
We are a for-profit organisation committed to growing.
We aim to work closely with our business partners, including suppliers and consultants.
We aim to be an industry leader, playing an active part in progress.
We are committed to making a lasting positive impact for society and the world we live in.
We report transparently and aim to build constructive relationships with the media.
Governments and regulators
We recognise how important it is to work with governments and regulators, particularly given that many of our businesses have such a big impact on people’s lives.
As a global company serving approximately two billion users worldwide, we interact regularly with governments, policymakers and regulatory bodies. We believe the experiences of our companies and investees, including their contributions to society, can enhance debate over public policy. We acknowledge a responsibility to ensure that our participation is transparent and non-partisan. We disclose our memberships and donations as appropriate.
We focus on the issues that matter most to our businesses and their stakeholders. Our governance structure reflects a clear-sighted and comprehensive assessment of material topics. This process prioritised 11 material issues, as follows:
Summary of 11 most material issues
We create value by increasing our revenues and market shares, and by increasing our exposure to financial revenue from sustainable business models. Our understanding of sustainable value creation applies strict discipline to capital allocation and performance management.
We are a responsible investor. We apply ESG factors in the selection and assessment of new prospects, and apply these criteria in managing the performance of businesses and investments across our portfolio.
We help people achieve their potential and be their best. We work to realise this aspiration for our employees and across the value chain of our businesses, including for the many thousands of people who work on our platforms around the world.
Digital inclusion underpins our business strategies. We extend access to digital products and services, promote digital literacy and support information technology infrastructure.
We find, nurture and scale innovative technology to create new ways of doing business. Our investments in sustainable value creation contribute to positive and systemic change by developing solutions to societal needs.
We invest in pioneering technologies, guided by our group principles for the responsible application of AI. In building software-led business models, we aim to create value, and to engage in external advocacy for the ethical development of AI.
We take cybersecurity seriously. Across our portfolio, we protect the information technology infrastructure of businesses, governments and households against increasingly disruptive, frequent and sophisticated cybercrimes that could result in economic damage, financial loss, geopolitical tensions and social instability.
We create and adhere to the right policies and frameworks to control and secure our business, customers’ and employees’ data.
Business culture, ethics and integrity
We embed our group goals, purpose and values in all business activities and operations. While our influence on investees varies across our portfolio and supply chain, we are committed to effective communication and engagement with all our stakeholders.
We invest for real and sustainable impact in the communities where we live and work, applying the principle that local actors know best how to deliver meaningful change in local contexts.
Reducing GHG emissions and energy consumption is a high priority for all our operations and investments.
Our core segments
Our philosophy of building local businesses with global reach is transforming key areas of economic and social life. From food delivery to classifieds, our portfolio is focused principally on consumer internet services that address societal needs. These investments enable entrepreneurs to build and scale digital platforms where small and medium businesses can reach their customers online. Digital financial services, for example, extend access to online banking, credit and insurance provisions far beyond the reach of traditional bricks-and-mortar infrastructure.