Asia Partners raises one of Southeast Asia’s biggest debut funds, hopes to profit from region’s Series C/D gap

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Asia Partners, the growth investor launched by former Sea president Nick Nash, has raised what is believed to be the biggest-ever debut tech fundraise focused on Southeast Asia.

The firm has hit a $384m final close for Asia Partners I, which also marks one of the region’s biggest first-time growth fundraises across any industry segment.

Asia Partners was launched in 2018 by Nash and ex-Naspers CEO of B2C e-commerce Oliver Rippel.

Nash left Singapore games and e-commerce major Sea to launch the firm Asia Partners, which eyes Southeast Asian tech businesses looking to expand across the region.

While at Sea Nash led the largest ever Southeast Asian internet IPO, a $989m offering on the New York Stock Exchange.

Fellow Asia Partners co-founder Rippel was formerly CEO of B2C e-commerce at Naspers, and initiated the investment in Flipkart before navigating its sale to Walmart at a $21bn valuation.

Asia Partners said that despite the rapid growth of innovative tech and tech-enabled businesses in the SE Asia region, there was a scarcity of growth capital for such businesses, particularly in the $20m to $100m ‘Series C/D Gap’ between early-stage venture capital and the public capital markets.

The firm made its first investment in August 2019 by leading a $70m funding round for Southeast Asian hotel management and booking platform RedDoorz.

Asia Partners’ advisory board is chaired by Hsieh Fu Hua, the former CEO of the Singapore Exchange.

He said, “Southeast Asia is an increasingly strategic region for global investors, driven both by rising affluence and by the increasing digitization of daily life.

“Almost every sector of our economies has the potential to be transformed by technology.”

“Asia Partners has already invested more than $90m across its first three investments, which collectively have operations across every major economy in Southeast Asia.”

Investors in the debut fund included the US International Development Finance Corporation and Germany’s Deutsche Investitions und Entwicklungsgesellschaft.

Asia Partners’ legal advisor on the fundraise was Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Southern Right Capital Limited and GCA Advisors acted as placement agents.

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