[Updated] Crescent Cove Advisors to raise $200m SPAC vehicle targeting SE Asia companies

Marina Bay Financial Centre, Singapore. Photo: Joshua Ang/unsplash

San Francisco-based tech investment firm Crescent Cove Advisors plans to raise $200 million via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) targeting Southeast Asian tech companies.

According to its SEC public filing, Crescent Cove Acquisition Corp intends to offer 20 million units at $10 each, with each unit consisting one Class A ordinary share and one-half of one redeemable warrant, exercisable at $11.50 per share.

Crescent Cove, led by Singaporean founder and chief investment officer, Jun Hong Heng, is the sponsor of the SPAC. The firm focuses on middle-market opportunities in the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) market, and is an early investor in US-listed firms like Luminar Technologies.

Crescent Cove’s SPAC board is led by Jun Hong Heng and Karanveer Dhillon, the investment firm’s CEO and president respectively. Austin Russell, founder and CEO of Luminar and one of the world’s youngest self-made billionaires, is joining as senior advisor of the investment vehicle.

Several names have been included as nominees to the board, such as Pandu Sjahrir, who is a board member of Gojek, chairman of Sea Group in Indonesia, and managing director of Indies Capital Partners.

Alvin Widarta Sariaatmadja, chief executive of Indonesian investor EMTEK Group is also a board nominee. EMTEK’s portfolio includes prominent names like e-commerce unicorn Bukalapak, Indonesian e-wallet Dana and OTT platform Vidio.

The SPAC list keeps growing

Crescent Cove’s SPAC joins an extended list of Southeast Asian-focused SPACs seeking merger targets to bring to the US public market.

Prominent SPACs launched in recent months include that by Richard Li and Peter Thiel’s Bridgetown Holdings, which has unveiled two SPAC vehicles. While Bridgetown 1 raised $595 million in October, Bridgetown 2 is looking to raise $200 million.

Earlier this month, SPAC Provident Acquisition, led by Winato Kartono and Michael Aw Soon Beng, Provident Group’s founding partner and partner raised $200 million in a US IPO.

Southeast Asian unicorns are likely to be chief merger targets for SPACs given the size and maturity of these companies. Tokopedia and Traveloka for instance, have been separately reported to be approached by SPAC vehicles in recent months. Some are even contemplating launching SPACs for existing entities including Grab’s financial arm, Grab Financial.

SPACs have even drawn interest from the Singapore Exchange (SGX), which is about to begin a formal consultation to discuss allowing blank cheque companies to list in the city-state.

But whether SPACS will lead to meaningful returns for sponsors is still too early to say.

The spate of new SPAC launches suggests that public markets in the US will remain robust all through 2021. Successful de-SPACs also remain few and far between, says Vickers Venture Partner’s Finian Tan, whose firm sponsored a $120 million SPAC offering early in January.

2020 was a peak year with a total of 248 SPAC IPOs transacted globally, raising $83 billion in 2020, according to IPO Insider. Prominent SPAC IPOs in the US include names like electric truck firm Nikola Corp, and e-casino gaming provider, DraftKings.

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.