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Robeco targets next wave of digital adopters

The asset manager’s new fund aims to capture the massive wave of internet adoption in emerging markets (EM).

Robeco’s Next Digital Billion strategy will invest mainly in publicly listed local high-growth internet and technology companies across EM, including innovative internet platforms expected to be tomorrow’s technology winners.

“Robeco’s pioneering experience in both emerging market and trends & thematic investing is at the core of the Next Digital Billion strategy,” said Mark van der Kroft, chief investment officer of Fundamental and Quant Equity at Robeco.

The firm estimates there are about 4.6 billion internet users with the majority of users going forward living in EM.

Such a spectacular rise in internet connectivity combined with a lack of pre-existing offline commercial infrastructure is leading to exponential leaps in technology adoption and business model growth in EM, believes Robeco. In line with this, thousands of new businesses are being created to cater to the next billion internet users, resulting in a wave of IPOs and value creation.

The high-conviction, benchmark-agnostic strategy will involve a portfolio of between 30 and 50 companies, diversifying within selected stocks across various sectors and geographies to optimise the strategy’s overall risk-return profile.

A team of seasoned experts is managing the fund, led by Michiel van Voorst and Bryan Satterly, combining decades of investment experience in EM and technology, not only in managing public equity strategies but also in terms of investing in private venture capital backed companies across emerging markets.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.