For Singapore-based private equity firm Novo Tellus Capital Partners, industrial tech is an underserved market in Southeast Asia as many GPs tend to overlook the sector, said its founder and managing partner Loke Wai San.
“There’s inefficiency and a lot more work in the sector, but I saw the opportunity. I also think that in Southeast Asia, no one is serving the industrial tech space. I believe that’s where we’ll be making a lot of money,” he told DEALSTREETASIA on the sidelines of the HKVCA Asia Private Equity Forum in Hong Kong earlier this month.
Prior to founding Novo Tellus in 2011, Loke was the managing director of Baring Private Equity Asia’s Silicon Valley and Singapore offices, where he led investments in IT hardware, SaaS, semiconductor capital equipment, and industrial sectors.
An engineer by training, Loke said Novo Tellus raised $25 million for its maiden fund which achieved a final close in 2012. The fund was fully deployed in 2016. The PE firm is currently investing out of its second fund but Loke declined to comment on Fund II.
Novo Tellus has invested in five companies across the region and has exited three so far, one of them being Singapore-based printed circuits board solution provider MFS Technology, which it exited along with majority co-investor Navis Capital Partners last February. The investment, made in November 2014, generated 3x returns.