Nick Nash’s Asia Partners said to strike $80m first close for SE Asia-focused fund

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Asia Partners, the growth investor launched by former Sea president Nick Nash, has hit a reported $80m first close for its debut fundraise.

Nash left Singapore games and e-commerce major Sea a year ago to launch Asia Partners, which will look to back 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 that had returned a 56 per cent IRR to public shareholders as of June 12 this year.

Fellow Asia Partners co-founder Oliver 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 will look to make deals in the Series B or C gap, according to its website, eyeing investments of between $20m and $100m.

DealStreet Asia reported that the firm had hit an $80m first close for its debut fund, citing an unnamed industry executive tracking the firm.

They added that the fledgling investment house planned to raise more than $300m for the fund.

The firm is banking on the long-term growth potential of Southeast Asia, a region with almost 10 per cent of the world’s population – and the rapid growth of innovative tech and tech-enabled businesses in the region.

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 $72bn in 2018 and is expected to exceed $240bn by 2025, that report added.

Asia Partners co-founder Rippel said, “We believe deeply in the potential for growth equity to accelerate economic growth throughout Southeast Asia.

“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.”

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