People Digest: SGInnovate names new CEO; KKR appoints APAC tech lead

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Singapore-based deep-tech venture builder SGInnovate has appointed Dr Lim Jui as its new CEO while KKR & Co has appointed Lucian Schoenefelder as its new Asia Pacific head of technology.

SGInnovate appoints Dr Lim Jui as new CEO

SGInnovate has appointed Dr Lim Jui as its new CEO, according to an official statement. Lim begins his term on 1 May 2020, replacing Steve Leonard, who will be rounding up his four-year stint as founding CEO of the Singapore government-backed deep tech venture builder. 

Lim joins SGInnovate from NTUitive, where he was CEO for about six years. NTUitive is the innovation and enterprise company of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), which focuses on research commercialisation and enterprise ecosystem development.

Prior to his role at NTUitive, he was the co-founder and executive director of the Medical Engineering Research and Commercialisation Initiative (MERCI,) a medical device accelerator, at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Lim was also the first programme director of the Singapore-Stanford Biodesign Programme (SSB), a joint venture between the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), and Stanford University.

“I am fortunate to have experienced commercialisation through multiple lenses as an investor, startup CEO, and most recently, seeing through early-stage technology commercialisation…I intend to build upon the very considerable successes of SGInnovate by focusing on the Deep Tech sector…which remains relatively underfunded. Deep Tech startups need more tangible support than others,” said Lim.

Since its launch in 2016, SGInnovate has built and invested over $28.8 million (S$40 million) in more than 60 deep tech startups and created a deep tech community of over 33,000 people. It is is one of two fund managers under the Startup SG Equity Scheme under Enterprise Singapore.

Some of its portfolio companies include AIDA Technologies (AI), Taiger (AI), Horizon Quantum Computing (quantum tech), SpeQtral (quantum tech) and Atomionics (quantum tech).

KKR appoints Lucian Schoenefelder as new APAC tech lead

KKR & Co has appointed Lucian Schoenefelder as its new Asia Pacific head of technology to lead its efforts to double down on the region, the private equity major confirmed to us. Schoenefelder was previously heading KKR’s European technology growth deals division.

South China Morning Post first reported the development. The report adds that Schoenefelder’s role will be twofold: to help with private equity deals larger than $100 million in size, and to build a growth equity business that targets smaller cheques.

Last year, both The Financial Times and DealStreetAsia reported that KKR was considering a move into early-stage investing. The global buyout firm had plans to raise as much as $300 million for an Asia-focused technology, media, and telecommunications fund.

KKR is joining other PE firms that have jumped on the venture investing bandwagon, including TPG which has invested in Singapore property website PropertyGuru; Ekuinas which has bought into Malaysia health care portal MediExpress; and Temasek which has stakes in fashion supply chain platform Zilingo and beauty and makeup online retailer Sociolla.

The global buyout firm has already made several notable investments in the Asia Pacific, including China’s internet giant ByteDance, and Indonesia’s ride-hailing unicorn Gojek.

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.