ADB proposes $40m investment in Northstar’s fifth fund

Aerial view of ADB headquarters. Source: ADB's Flickr stream

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is proposing a $40 million equity investment in the fifth fund of Southeast Asian private equity (PE) firm Northstar Group, according to a disclosure.

The fund, Northstar Equity Partners V Limited (NEP V), seeks to invest a substantial portion of its capital in established and growing Indonesian companies. It may also invest a small portion of its capital commitments in a limited number of early-stage opportunities.

Northstar co-founder and managing partner Patrick Walujo at DealStreetAsia’s Asia PE-VC Summit 2021 in September said that fifth fund will, like its predecessors, focus on investments in three areas: digital, financial services, and consumers.

The ADB disclosure said Northstar is targeting $500 million for the fund that will also invest in other countries in Southeast Asia besides Indonesia.

However, DealStreetAsia earlier reported that Northstar’s original target for Fund V was $800 million and that the firm will close the vehicle in December at about $600 million — i.e 25% below its target.

Fund IV closed at $810 million in 2015.

The Singapore-based PE firm had held the first close of Northstar V in April 2020 after raising a third of its target corpus.

ADB said that while Indonesia and several other Southeast Asian economies have reached middle-income status, many continue to face challenges caused by entrenched poverty and vulnerability, and global economic uncertainty.

“ADB’s investment in NEP V will help facilitate quality job creation in these economies, including by small and medium-sized enterprises, through enhancing the sustainability of capital markets and providing finance to economic growth sector companies,” the global lender said.

In December 2020, Northstar, investing from its fifth fund, acquired an 80% stake in the dairy firm PT Greenfields Indonesia from Singapore’s Japfa for $236 million along with American PE firm TPG.

NEP V has also invested in tech firm Advance Intelligence Group, edtech firm Zenius, aquaculture firm eFishery, and B2B e-commerce marketplace Ula. The PE firm has also allocated capital from its fifth fund to Gojek-affiliated VC firm Go-Ventures.

Northstar’s fourth fund made bets in financial services and tech-enabled consumer companies such as ride-hailing platform Gojek, Vietnamese e-commerce platform Tiki, coworking space provider UPGen, and edtech startup Topica.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.