Sweef Capital has announced TEKY Alpha JSC (TEKY), a leading multidisciplinary innovation academy in Vietnam, as its first investment in its Southeast Asia Women’s Economic Empowerment Fund (SWEEF).

The investment will support expansion of TEKY’s educational services in Vietnam’s public school system and after-school programmes for children aged five to 18 years.

TEKY was founded by Ms. Dao Lan Huong in 2016 and focuses on delivery of science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics (STEAM) education. The company operates 16 STEAM academies in five cities across Vietnam and has partnered with more than 45 schools across the country to deliver STEAM courses to more than 25,000 children. 

TEKY is the realisation of the founder’s vision to equip the next generations in Vietnam and the wider region with much-needed digital literacy and technology skills.

“I’m excited about our expansion plan to open more STEAM centers across the country in the next two years and prospects of a partnership with public schools to integrate the STEAM curriculum and increase accessibility,” Ms Dao Lan Huong said.

According to the International Labour Organization, 137 million workers, a fifth of the regional population, in Southeast Asia will lose their jobs because of automation, robots and artificial intelligence (AI) in the next two decades. In addition, workers around the world are likely to need to switch jobs and learn new skills and by 2030, many of the new jobs created by technology won’t have existed before.

“Vietnamese education must keep pace with these big shifts so that the future workforce can close the capacity gap at a regional and global level and seize the opportunities of the 4.0 era,” Ms Dao Lang Huong said.

“From a social and market perspective, the demand for technology education has been growing in many countries, and coding as a digital language and technology as fundamental is fast proving as popular as English, but there aren’t many solutions in Vietnam to fulfill that need.”

Ms Dao Lan Huong said TEKY was formed to solve these paint points and close the market gap “With more than 22 million students in K-12, what we’re doing is really creating a blue ocean market, a chance for the whole team to grow a very scalable business and achieve great social impact at the same time.”

Well aligned wth SWEEF’s investment and impact criteria, TEKY’s scalable business model contributes to improved education outcomes and increased access to STEAM education. As an organisation, TEKY has the potential to demonstrate improved outcomes in diversity and gender equality as a women-led enterprise that provides opportunities to improve the livelihoods of women who make up majority of TEKY ’s workforce.

Jennifer Buckley, Founder and Managing Director of Sweef Capital, said they were “beyond excited” about this milestone in Sweef Capital’s journey.

“We see this investment contributing great foundational skills for children, some of whom currently have limited exposure to STEAM,” Ms Buckley said. “We share Ms. Dao Lan Huong’s vision to help more girls see what’s possible, take up education and pursue professional careers in STEAM. We look forward to building on this partnership with TEKY and working with them to demonstrate value creation opportunities linked with women’s economic empowerment.”

SWEEF’s investment will support the expansion of TEKY’s network of academies, further development of its digital platform and integration of a STEAM curriculum in public schools. This will enable wider reach and provide more students with an avenue to improve their critical thinking and acquire marketable employment skills and foundational capabilities for broader educational achievement.

Ms Buckley acknowledged Sweef Capital’s partners including Pædagogernes Pension (PBU), UN ESCAP, Emerging Market Impact Investment Fund (EMIIF) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for their contributions.

Sune Schackenfeldt, CEO of PBU, said their investment in SWEEF had a clear link to their strategy for responsible investment and spoke directly to their members interests.

“Many of our members are educators and this first investment in TEKY provides strong alignment with the issues affecting them,” Mr Schackenfeldt said. “Our partnership with Sweef Capital in these investments brings PBU’s commitment to empowering women and strengthening gender equality into our investment profile while also enabling delivery of our targeted return thresholds for the long-term retirement savings of our members.”

Ms Buckley said Sweef Capital believed that providing equal access to education and opportunities in STEAM was crucial to achieve gender equality and create a diverse and inclusive workforce.

“By supporting initiatives that promote STEAM education, we are not only investing in the future of our society but also in the future of our economy,” she said. “We hope that our investment will inspire other organisations to prioritise gender diversity and equality in their own efforts, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact of our collective actions.”

About Sweef Capital

Sweef Capital is a Singapore-based impact investment firm investing in the potential of women and the future of Southeast Asia. As a private equity firm, Sweef Capital focuses on investing equity and quasi-equity capital in growth-stage companies, primarily in Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, where its experienced investment professionals are deeply rooted. The team strives to maintain an ethical and responsible business practice in the selection and management of their investments. The firm’s investment practice is very much relationship-centred and value creation-oriented which instils confidence in investee companies and leverages established channels to drive strong deal flow. Sweef Capital targets investments in growth markets including education, healthcare, food systems and climate resilience, sectors that are experiencing strong and increasing demand. For more about Sweef Capital, see https://sweefcapital.com/

About PBU

Pædagogernes Pension (PBU) is the the Danish pension fund for early childhood and youth educators. PBU is a 12 billion USD direct contribution fund based in Copenhagen. PBU employs a multi-asset strategy and invests globally. Private equity (PE) and PE in South East Asia is an important part of PBU’s social impact investing strategy. PBU is 100 percent owned by its members and aims to be the leading pension provider for early childhood educators in Denmark. For more about PBU, visit: https://pbu.dk/


The Emerging Markets Impact Investment Fund (EMIIF) is a development financing mechanism of the Australian Government. EMIIF adopts a blended finance approach to catalyse private finance into financial intermediaries that support high-growth and innovative small and medium size (SME) businesses in Asia and the Pacific. EMIIF provides partners with fit-for-purpose technical assistance in areas of ESG, impact measurement and management, and gender lens integration. EMIIF is a market builder, expanding SME financing in the region and influencing capital providers to support new and transformative business models.

EMIIF is managed by Sarona in a consortium with MEDA and SAGANA as technical assistance provider and the Whitelum Group, which assists in monitoring and evaluation. For more about EMIIF, see: https://emiif.fund/

About AIIB

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank whose mission is to finance the Infrastructure for Tomorrow—infrastructure with sustainability at its core. AIIB began operations in Beijing in January 2016 and has since grown to 106 approved members worldwide. The bank is capitalized at USD100 billion and Triple-A-rated by the major international credit rating agencies. Working with partners, AIIB meets clients’ needs by unlocking new capital and investing in infrastructure that is green, technology-enabled and promotes regional connectivity. For more about AIIB, visit: https://www.aiib.org/en/index.html


Jennifer Buckley