Ex-L Catterton Asia chief Ravi Thakran eyes final close of his two PE funds in Q2 2021

Ravi Thakran Photo: Rajesh Gupta/Livemint

Former L Catterton managing partner Ravi Thakran is looking at a possible final close of his two new private equity funds as early as the second quarter of 2021, he said during the Asia PE-VC 2020 virtual summit on Tuesday. The funds will start investing from the first quarter next year.

Thakran’s two PE funds are GCC Asia Growth Fund, a small-cap investment vehicle that will focus on the Middle East, India, and Southeast Asia’s emerging markets; and Asia 3.0, a mid-cap fund with a focus on Japan, Korea, China, Southeast Asia, and Australia.

“We will start investing from Quarter 1 [2021] because we have a lot of anchors already with us. We are already chasing some fantastic assets and have a good pipeline in the market,” Thakran said during the Asia PE-VC 2020 virtual summit.

Asia 3.0 has a target size of $1-1.5 billion. It will invest in Asian consumer industry startups that are ready to go global.

“Asia 3.0 will be all about building world-class consumer brands. In the next two decades, Asia will produce the same amount of growth that it did in the last 40 years,” Thakran added.

The fund seeks to help Asian entrepreneurs in sectors like fashion, beauty, health, wellness, and fitness, which Thakran said have become fairly developed in the US, Europe, and parts of Asia.

“Emerging Asia is just coming into all these things in a big way… there are several categories emerging. With all that we learned from Western brand development, we want to help Asian entrepreneurs build world-class brands,” he stressed.

The other platform, GCC Asia Growth Fund, is a smallcap $10-50 million ticket investment vehicle that focuses more on the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, which includes Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, as well as in Southeast Asia and India.

“Our focus always is on the number one or two in each category. Most of these guys are not looking for capital, even in these tough times. They’re not highly leveraged and are highly profitable businesses. They come to us not for capital, but for the value add, particularly when navigating the journey from product to brand,” Thakran added.

In particular, Thakran said he sees “a lot of sparks” in high growth markets like Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia, with some unique categories emerging — for instance, the cosmetics business in Indonesia.

“But all of these things are in their early stages. You can pick them up at this stage and build them into the next billion-dollar-plus brands. And so, I am sure we will complete our quest of building $25 billion brands in the next decade,” he said.

Aside from the two new PE funds, Thakran also recently launched a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) that will have a broad focus on categories that have matured in the US and Europe but are just picking up steam in Asia: health, wellness, plant-based proteins, and milk alternatives.

Thakran left L Catterton Asia earlier this year as managing partner and chairman and LVMH as group president, South and Southeast Asia, and Australia/New Zealand. However, both LVMH and L Catterton remain partners in the SPAC that Thakran has launched.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated.

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.