Malaysia’s Axiata sells digital ventures portfolio to Pegasus 7 Ventures

Axiata Digital CEO Mohd Khairil Abdullah

Axiata Digital, the digital services arm of telecommunications giant Axiata Group Bhd, has entered into an agreement to sell its digital ventures portfolio at a valuation of $140 million to Singapore investment fund Pegasus 7 Ventures, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

Its portfolio companies include StoreKing, BIMA, FreedomPop, 11street and etobee with operations across Asia, US and Africa. These investments were made with co-investors that include Allianz X, Kinnevik, Millicom, LetterOne, Intel Capital, Atomico, Mangrove Capital Partners, LeapFrog Investments and Kejora Ventures.

Managed by Gordian Capital, Pegasus 7 Ventures will drive the portfolio’s growth led by Gautum Saxena, a seasoned senior investment banker and former head of Asia for telecom and media at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

“These companies are poised to scale significantly and create value for their stakeholders while continuing to make positive impacts in underserved communities. The addition of these assets to the Pegasus 7 portfolio is synergistic with our thematic focus and will serve as an enabler for our future growth path,” said Saxena.

Meanwhile, its exit from the digital ventures portfolio will enable Axiata Digital to continue to focus on its three core verticals — digital financial services (Boost), digital advertising (ada) and digital platform (Apigate).

“The partners in Pegasus 7 understand our vision, our markets and our portfolio companies which we’ve built to focus on our ecosystem of telco and digital assets. We strongly believe this handover will ensure the assets continue to thrive through access to our customer base, joint marketing and other synergistic activities,” said Axiata Digital CEO Mohd Khairil Abdullah.

Axiata Digital was started in 2013 to help the telco business undergo digital transformation via investments in new age businesses. It has since built a portfolio of 30 companies through minority investments and venture builder models.

The firm also has a seat on the board of Axiata Digital Innovation Fund (ADIF) which is focused on investing in tech startups. ADIF has raised 80 million ringgit ($19.8 million) to date, including investments from state-owned investment arm Johor Corporation (JCorp) and government-owned Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd (Mavcap).

Established in 2005, Singapore-based Gordian Capital is an independent and institutionally-focused fund platform specialist. It manages $2.4 billion in private equity, venture capital, real estate, private credit and hedge funds.

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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.