PH-focused PE firm Navegar makes initial close of new fund at $87.1m

Manila Bay, Manila, Philippines. Photo: Eugenio Pastoral/unsplash

Navegar, a Philippines-focused private equity firm, has made an initial close of its new fund at $87.1 million, with 20 investors committing to the vehicle, according to the fund’s latest regulatory filing.

The new fund – Navegar II LP – will invest in middle-market, growth-oriented companies in the country, with a target investment size of up to $18 million.

Navegar first filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to raise $150 million for the new vehicle but the target amount has been increased to $200 million.

The new fund will be a sector-agnostic Philippines-focused private equity fund. It will mainly focus on investing growth capital in companies that are active in growth sectors such as food & beverages, BPO, tourism, healthcare, and education.

Navegar II LP, launched last month, received $20 million from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group. IFC said Navegar II LP is expected to help improve access to long-term risk capital for fund investees in the Philippines that should lead to accelerated investee growth.

Dutch development bank FMO also proposed a $20-million investment in the fund, which is expected to boost PE funding in a country where PE capital is still very scarce.

It will be the second investment by FMO in a Navegar fund. In 2013, the bank committed $20 million to Navegar I Parallel LP, its investment vehicle parallel to the main fund Navegar I LP.

The fund is managed by Navegar GP Ltd, a partnership between local partners Honorio Poblador IV, Javier Infante, Rodel Manansala, Swedish national Patrik Brummer, and Norwegian national Anders Stendebakken.

Last year, Navegar exited its investment in the US- and Philippines-based outsourcing startup TaskUs, which was bought by Blackstone for a reported $250 million. The Philippine investor had invested $15 million in the startup in 2015.

Navegar’s current portfolio companies include The Bistro Group, a premium casual dining operator in the Philippines; Bo’s Coffee, a homegrown coffee chain; and Bistronomia, an F&B group that operates premium Spanish restaurants.

Early this year, Navegar joined other leading venture capital PE players in the Philippines in creating an investment industry association that will act as a unified voice representing professional and institutional investors in the Philippines.

Called the Venture Capital and Private Equity Association of the Philippines (VCAP), this non-stock, non-profit corporation was the brainchild of ICCP SBI Venture Partners, Navegar, Endeavor Philippines, and Kickstart Ventures, Inc. with support from Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura, Sayoc & de los Angeles Law.

VCAP’s mandate includes building linkages with similar associations in other countries, raising the profile of the VC and PE asset classes, serving as a platform for potential dialogue on regulatory and policy issues affecting venture and private equity investments in the country, and promoting professional development of the member firms and employees.

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.