WALL STREET JOURNAL
SINGAPORE – June 14, 2019 – Asia Partners, a Singapore-based growth equity investment firm, is today announcing its launch.
Asia Partners is focused on the intersection of three key themes:
-The long-term growth potential of Southeast Asia, a region with almost 10% of the world’s population.
-The rapid growth of innovative technology and technology-enabled businesses in the region, many of whom are platforms with pan-regional aspirations.
-The scarcity of growth equity capital for these companies, particularly in the $20 million to $100 million investment size range, often described as the ‘Series B/C Gap’ between early stage venture capital and the public capital markets.
Southeast Asia is home to over 350 million internet users, and four of Southeast Asia’s countries are among the top 10 countries worldwide as measured by mobile internet engagement per day, according to a recent Temasek and Google study. Southeast Asia’s internet economy reached $72 billion in 2018 and is expected to exceed $240 billion by 2025, according to the same study.
Capitalizing on that growth, Bain & Company forecasts that the region will give rise to at least 10 new companies with a market value of more than $1 billion each by 2024.
Asia Partners has five co-founders: Nicholas Avinash Nash, Oliver Minho Rippel, Pitra Ciputra Harun, Kien Nguyen, and Vorapol Supanusonti.
“At Asia Partners, we believe deeply in the potential for growth equity to accelerate economic growth throughout Southeast Asia,” said Mr. Rippel, a Partner of the firm and a member of the Investment Committee. “We believe the next decade will be a golden age of entrepreneurship and innovation for Southeast Asia, and we are deeply focused on accelerating that progress.”
Each co-founder of Asia Partners has a combination of investing acumen and operational leadership, enabling a unique approach to identifying and then mentoring the region’s next generation of entrepreneurs, a true ‘investor-operator’ skill-set.
-Mr. Nash was most recently the Group President of Sea Ltd. (NYSE: SE), the first Southeast Asian internet company to go public on the New York Stock Exchange. Sea is now a $14bn market capitalization public company and has delivered a 56% IRR to its IPO investors as of June 12, 2019, the fifth best performing large tech IPO globally over the past decade and the best from Asia, large defined as offerings above $500 million in size. He was previously Head of Southeast Asia at General Atlantic, where he spent a decade as a growth equity investor,co-founded the Singapore office, and led the firm’s investment in Sea Ltd. He began his career with McKinsey & Company in New York.
-Mr. Rippel was most recently the Chief Executive Officer for all Business-to-Consumer e-commerce investments for Naspers Ltd., a $102 billion market capitalization global internet group and one of the largest technology investors in the world. Based in Singapore, Mr. Rippel initiated and led Naspers’ investment in Flipkart and served on its Board of Directors for over six years. Flipkart’s exit to Walmart in 2018 was one of the world’s largest ever e-commerce M&A transactions, and Mr. Rippel achieved a $1.6 billion net gain for Naspers. He was previously a senior executive with eBay for close to a decade across Southeast Asia, Europe, and North Asia.
-Mr. Harun was most recently the Head of Digital Goods for Bukalapak, one of Indonesia’s home-grown unicorn companies, where he led its expansion efforts into new verticals. He was previously with Patamar Capital in San Francisco, and a member of Bain & Company’s Private Equity Group in Southeast Asia. He is fluent in Bahasa Indonesia.
- Mr.Nguyen was an independent member and Head of the Inspection Committee, analogous to an Audit Committee Chairman role, of Vinamilk, the largest consumer company in Vietnam, from 2009 to 2017. During his tenure, Vinamilk’s stock price increased by 11.1x in U.S. dollar terms. He has been advising local and foreign investors in Vietnam investments since 2008. He was previously with Temasek Holdings, OCBC Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and Credit Suisse. He is fluent in Vietnamese.
-Mr. Supanusonti was most recently a senior executive at Sea Ltd. in Singapore, where he played a key role on its landmark IPO. He was previously an investor at TPG, one of the world's largest private equity firms; General Atlantic, the world's largest growth equity firm; and Temasek Holdings, one of the leading global investment companies. He is fluent in Thai.
In addition, Asia Partners is today announcing the members of its Advisory Board, a distinguished group of senior industry and public policy experts. The Asia Partners Advisory Board is chaired by Mr. Hsieh Fu Hua, the former President of Temasek Holdings, the former CEO of the Singapore Exchange, and the former Chairman of United Overseas Bank. Mr. Hsieh is also the Chairman of the National University Health System in Singapore, the National University of Singapore, the National Gallery Singapore, and the Stewardship Asia Centre.
Other members of the Advisory Board include:
- William P. Adamopoulos, the Chief Executive Officer of Forbes Media Asia
- Ambassador Richard L. Armitage, the former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State
- Professor Chan Heng Chee, Chairman of the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities at the Singapore University of Technology and Design, Ambassador from Singapore to the United States from 1996-2012, and Singapore's Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1989 to 1991
- Mr. William O. Grabe, a retired Managing Director from General Atlantic and former Vice President of IBM Corporation
- Mr. Kuok Khoon Hong, the Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Wilmar International
- Mr. Dan Neary, Vice President of Asia Pacific for Facebook
- Mr. Nguyen Phuong Lam, the retired Co-Founder and Senior Managing Partner of the Private Markets division of Capital Group
- Dr. Kerry J. Sulkowicz, a trusted leadership advisor to some of the world’s best known and respected corporate executives and boards, and founder and Managing Principal of the Boswell Group
- Mr. Karim Temsamani, former President of Google Asia Pacific and current Global Lead for New Payments Products at Stripe
- Mr. John J. Wood, the Founder of Room to Read, one of the world’s most successful non-profit organizations.
“Asia Partners is deeply committed to supporting the growth of Southeast Asia’s next generation of entrepreneurs,” said Mr. Nash, Managing Partner and a member of the firm’s Investment Committee. “We look forward to beginning our investment program and to applying our co-founding team’s and Advisory Board’s collective experience to helping our companies grow, both geographically and strategically.”
For more information, please visit www.asiapartners.com.
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