Private capital trumps public markets in SEA as PE/VC deals hit record

Srividya Gopal at DealStreetAsia’s Asia PE-VC Summit 2017 in Singapore. Photo: DealStreetAsia

The Southeast Asian region’s dealmaking landscape this year has been characterised by the mega, private fundraising rounds of tech unicorns.

A record 166 deals were struck in the PE and VC space in Singapore – up from 154 deals done last year and a dramatic increase from the 47 investments just five years ago.

The technology sector accounted for nearly half of the $6.5-billion worth of private equity and venture capital deals struck in the city-state, according to global consultancy Duff & Phelps.

In fact, Duff & Phelps managing director Srividya Gopal reckons there are three to four emerging unicorns that could rise to the ranks of the existing ten in Southeast Asia in the coming year.

In the public markets, initial public offerings in Singapore raised $2.3 billion – four times as much as the year before, buoyed by the mega listings of real estate investment trusts. Yet, the performance at neighbouring exchanges continues to be lacklustre. Indeed, continuing structural shifts in this region are favouring private capital.

“The most dramatic change we have seen in the regional transaction landscape in the last 5 years is the region’s ability to attract significant PE/VC investments. There have been several new funds that have successfully raised capital with a dedicated Southeast Asia focus and several global funds that have increased allocation for the region,” said Gopal in an interview with DealStreetAsia.

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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.