People Digest: KKR Asia, Do Ventures, Affinidi rope in senior execs

Glenn Gore (left) and Thuc Vu.

KKR has got on board Jim Rowan, former CEO of UK-based electronics producer Dyson Ltd, as a senior advisor to its private equity team in Asia. Meanwhile, Thuc Vu, an American and Vietnamese serial entrepreneur, has joined Vietnam-based VC firm Do Ventures as a venture partner. In a separate development, Temasek-backed Affinidi Group has roped in former Amazon Web Services expert Glenn Gore as CEO.

KKR adds senior advisor to Asia PE team

Global investment firm KKR has recruited Jim Rowan, former CEO of UK-based electronics producer Dyson Ltd, as a senior advisor in its Asia private equity team.

Rowan joined Dyson in 2012 as its COO and acted as the company’s CEO between 2017 and 2020, during which time he accelerated the company’s e-commerce strategy and grew its market share worldwide.

Prior to Dyson, he was the COO of BlackBerry and a senior executive at Flextronics. Bringing more than three decades of global experience in the consumer and technology sectors, Rowan is also an advisory board member of Nanyang Technological University’s School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. He also sits on the board of Nanofilm and PCH International.

“There is an increasingly urgent need for companies across sectors and geographies to become more technologically and digitally advanced to stay leaders in their industries. With this in mind, we are excited to welcome Jim as a Senior Advisor to KKR,” commented Ming Lu, partner and head of Asia Pacific at KKR.

“Technology is a key area where KKR looks to provide support,” the PE firm said in a statement. Its private equity portfolio has more than 100 companies worldwide which account for over $7 billion in information technology spend and over $10 billion in marketing spend annually.

KKR additionally has a robust technology business in Asia Pacific which includes investments in companies such as Jio Platforms, Cue & Co, ByteDance, From Scratch, Huohua Logic, Xingsheng Youxuan and Voyager Innovations among others.

Vietnam-based Do Ventures hires new venture partner

Vietnamese venture capital firm Do Ventures has appointed Thuc Vu, co-founder and CEO of AI and robotic firms OhmniLabs and Kambria, as a venture partner.

Vu is a serial entrepreneur who co-founded four startups, among which US-based social apps Katango and Tappy were later acquired by Google and Weeby.co, respectively. He has deep expertise in game theory, machine learning, tournament design and multi-agent systems, according to a statement.

Vu earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Carnegie Mellon University and his PhD from Stanford University, both in computer science with a focus on AI.

With his new role at Do Ventures, the firm said Vu will bridge the fund to overseas Vietnamese founders, and at the same be a mentor to support Do Ventures’ portfolio companies.

“Dung and Vy [co-founders and general partners at Do Ventures] have made instrumental impacts on the startup ecosystem in Vietnam. I am very excited to join them in their new endeavor to help connect them with founders who will benefit tremendously from their support,” said Vu.

Vu has also invested in several Vietnamese tech startups and contributed to the growth of the local ecosystem through two non-profit organisations he co-founded, including VietSeeds, which aims to transform the life of the underprivileged university students in Vietnam, and VietAI, which wants to build the AI talent community in the country.

Temasek-backed Affinidi appoints CEO

Affinidi Group, a new group of companies founded by Singapore’s state investor Temasek, has appointed former Amazon Web Services expert Glenn Gore as CEO.

Headquartered in Singapore with a hub in Berlin, Affinidi uses decentralised technologies to develop self-sovereign identity solutions, empowering individuals and organisations with control of their data.

Glenn’s responsibilities at Affinidi will include driving the ongoing development of the company’s technology, expanding more use cases and applications, as well as steering the growth and expansion of the business and its capabilities across markets.

Affinidi provides solutions including the creation of portable digital identities, simplified issuance of digital credentials and selective sharing of verifiable data. These solutions also mitigate the risk of privacy breaches and security leaks that end users can be exposed to when their data is stored on centralised systems.

The Affinidi Group also comprises of two other businesses, GoodWorker – an India-based digital job matching platform for blue-collar workers and employers, and Trustana – a Singapore-based curated B2B marketplace and trade platform with an initial focus on SMEs in China and Singapore.

Glenn will also serve as a board member of these two units.

Glenn has more than 20 years of experience in the technology industry and was previously the chief architect of Amazon Web Services, where he was responsible for creating architectural best practices and working with customers on cloud and innovation solutions.

 

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.