InnoVen Capital’s SE Asia chief Chin Chao exits after six years at the venture debt firm

Chin Chao, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore and South East Asia, InnoVen Capital

InnoVen Capital‘s chief executive for Southeast Asia, Chin Chao, has left the venture debt firm.

Chao spent close to six years at InnoVen Capital, where he led the firm’s efforts to provide venture debt to high-growth companies such as Ruangguru, Tiki, Carsome, BukuKas, Fave, and others. Chao’s official Linkedin profile showed that he ended his InnoVen stint at the end of August.

Prior to InnoVen, Chao had spent 15 years as managing director of Venture TDF Singapore and Venture TDF China, where he provided venture debt solutions to firms such as Alibaba, Baidu, Focus Media, and Redback Networks.

DealStreetAsia further understands that InnoVen’s two directors, Paul Ong and Ben Cheah, will succeed Chao to co-lead the lender’s investments in Southeast Asia.

DealStreetAsia has reached out to InnoVen Capital for comment. Chao could not be contacted for this story.

A series of changes have been underway at InnoVen Capital in recent months, such as its merger with three Temasek subsidiaries — Azalea Investment Management, Fullerton Fund Management Company, and Seatown Holdings International — to form the $55 billion Seviora Holdings in October 2020.

According to a statement released by Temasek and Seviora, the new structure was aimed at helping the entity leverage the brands and track records of each Temasek-backed asset management company to offer clients a more integrated suite of products.

Last month, InnoVen Capital was reported to be raising $200 million independently for its India arm as a way to simplify its structure and accelerate dealmaking during a record startup boom in the South Asian market.

If successful, InnoVen India will be registered as a Category 2 Alternative Investment Fund (AIF), similar to its local venture debt peers Alteria and Trifecta Capital. The move will free InnoVen India from the rigid structures involved with operating as a non-banking finance company (NBFC) in the South Asian market.

Temasek Holdings is likely to invest more than half of the corpus, while other institutions and family offices are likely to contribute the rest, according to the report first made by news website moneycontrol. InnoVen India is currently co-owned by Temasek Holdings and United Overseas Bank (UOB). Its India portfolio includes names like Byju’s, Pharmeasy, and Cure.fit.

One source aware of the development shared that InnoVen Capital may eventually raise funds independently for its existing geographies — India, China and Southeast Asia.

Since its inception in 2008, InnoVen has funded 225 companies across 350 transactions in Southeast Asia, India and China.

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.