Malaysian VC Teak Capital plans IPO exit

Malaysia based Teak Capital Sdn Bhd, a venture capital management firm, is looking to exit some of its investments in the near future. The disinvestment could take place through an IPO, says managing director and founder Chok Kwee Bee.

According to her, Teak Capital’s inaugural fund (Teak Ventures), already in its sixth year,is expected to close in the eighth year. They have already invested MYR 40 million ($ 12 million) in 10 companies, through this fund. “We have already divested our stakes from some of the companies; like the partial exit from YouthAsia. We are now looking to exit some of our other investments in the near future,” she told DealStreetAsia.

One of the exits will be through an initial public offering (IPO) on the Malaysian stock exchange,she disclosed, remaining tight-lipped about the likely IPO candidate.

Other divestment, she added, would be through “some sort of sale”.

“Venture capitalist (VC) have different exit options. We have already done trade sale for our investments in Groupsmore and Says.com. The general preference is to sell or merge (with another company) as VCs need to build a fairly strong entity for an IPO,” she said, adding that there was a strong (market) interest for buying VC backed companies.

“When a buyer finds synergy in a VC’s invested company, they will be interested,” she said, citing the $20 million merger of social news network Says.com with the Catcha Media in 2013 and the sale of Groupsmore to Groupon, which was looking for a Malaysian arm in 2011.

“Investing is only one part of venture capital management; the fun is when we exit and realise the returns,” she said, adding that most VCs aim for a 25% internal rate of return (IRR). Teak Capital targets a minimum of three-time return as IRR.

The firm is focused on investing in companies in the digital space, “I kind of grew up with online (investments) as a VC and this is like a third generation of online companies for me,” she discloses, recalling her foray into the VC world under the Silicone Valley-based Walden International group from 2000 to 2008.

Teak Capital has already started looking for new investment in online companies, under the Axiata Digital Innovation Fund, which the company will manage jointly with the Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd (MAVCAP)and Questmark Capital.

A few e-commerce companies are already on the radar, she added.

Chok’s focus is on Malaysian companies which have the potential to scale regionally or globally. “I would like to focus mainly on companies in Malaysia but those which can go offshore,” she explained.

According to her, investments in companies that are more accessible, tends to be more successful. “If you asked me now to look at a China deal, for example, I would hesitate,” she says.

Currently, Teak Capital manages the firm’s inaugural fund- Teak Ventures– in partnership with the MAVCAP, under its Outsource Partners’ Programme (OSP), says the company website adding: “The investment focus is on innovative technology and high growth areas from early to growth stages. The existing portfolio span from areas including semiconductor, LED, e-commerce & online businesses to mobile & wireless technology.”

The company is invested in startups including Youth AsiaAemulusXentral Methods, fonYou, Web Bytes and Easyuni.

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.