SG-based PE firm Novo Tellus raises $250m for second SE Asia fund

Singapore city skyline. Photo: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg

Novo Tellus, a Singapore-based private equity firm that focuses on mid-market technology and industrials sectors of Southeast Asia, has reached the final close of Novo Tellus PE Fund 2 at $250 million.

According to a statement from FIRSTavenue, the global placement agent for the fundraise, the PE fund was closed 43% above its target and attracted global institutional investors, which accounted for 88% of the fund’s commitments.

Endowments, retirement funds, sovereign wealth, and global fund-of-fund investors represented the vast majority of LP commitments, according to the statement.

As with its predecessor, Fund 2 will target mid-market tech and industrials deals in the region and has already been tapped for two investments.

Fund 1 raised $25 million in 2012 and was fully deployed in 2016. The firm, founded by Loke Wai San in 2011 said its maiden fund delivered 5.6x return and 3.5x net DPI.

The firm launched Fund 2 in early 2019 and reached a first close of $50 million in the second quarter of that year. The fund closed in December despite “formidable challenges with fundraising during a global pandemic,” Loke said.

“We’re pleased that our strategy, our track record and the positive early performance from our first two investments have helped underscore Novo Tellus’ ability to find and build investment value right through the cycle,” according to Loke.

Novo Tellus is active in investing behind themes including 5G, cloud computing, semiconductor, advanced manufacturing, and Industry 4.0 digitalisation.

Last month, the firm signed a conditional placement agreement to invest about $17.7 million in Singapore’s Catalist-listed semiconductor supplier Grand Venture Technology. The investment was made through NT SPV 12, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Novo Tellus PE Fund 2.

Its earlier investments include Singapore-based data centre solutions provider Procurri Corporation; industrial automation firm ISDN Holdings and smart card IC module and test services player NovoFlex.

Novo Tellus now joins a number of Singapore-based PE firms that have raised or are raising funds targeting Southeast Asia. In January, Asia Partners made another close of its debut fund at $282 million.

Singapore-based PE Tower Capital Asia also raised $250 million for its SE Asia-focused fund, Tower Capital PE Fund I, marking the first close of the fund.

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.