Nick Nash’s Asia Partners makes first close of debut fund at $78m

Asia Partners co-founder Nick Nash

Singapore-based private equity (PE) firm Asia Partners, launched by former Sea Ltd president Nick Nash and former chief executive of B2C e-commerce of Naspers Oliver Rippel, has made a first close of $78 million for its debut fund, according to its official filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

DealStreetAsia had reported in June, quoting an industry executive, that Asia Partners I secured about $80 million in its first close, with plans to raise over $300 million. The SEC filing, signed by Nash, showed that the fund received commitments from 18 investors.

Nash, however, did not specify the hard cap and timeline for its maiden vehicle in the filing.

A source aware of the development said that the corpus amounting to $78 million does not include employee contributions. However, the firm’s founders and partners are said to have made a significant contribution to its maiden vehicle. This source also added the firm had hit its first close about three months earlier, and the said capital commitments for Asia Partners I was currently at tripple digits (in milllion USD).

Asia Partners I LP, that is looking to make investments starting from $20 million across Southeast Asian tech startups, has identified paucity of growth capital – especially post Series B rounds – as a major challenge in this region.

Justifying the move for launching a growth fund, Nash had earlier said, “Southeast Asia had the potential to create over $400 billion of new technology sector equity value over the next decade.”

A $78-million first close signals strong investor appetite for Southeast Asia’s burgeoning market for e-commerce, payments, mobile apps and other tech and internet startups.

Riding on the region’s 650 million-strong population, the region’s digital economy is projected to triple in size and reach $240 billion over the next seven years.

Bain & Company forecasts that Southeast Asia will give rise to at least 10 new unicorns – companies with a market value of more than $1 billion – by 2024.

Asia Partners joins the likes of Vertex Ventures, Vickers Ventures, Golden Gate Ventures and Openspace Ventures – all of which have raised growth funds in recent months to capture the perceived Series B to C gap in the market.

“We don’t go below $20 million in cheque size – that’s a well-established segment with some terrific firms already there, helping to find early-stage companies. And we don’t go above $100 million, because that’s well established as well. We focus in the middle which helps bridge that journey from startup to a unicorn,” said Nash in a statement in June.

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.