Singapore: Jungle Ventures bags best VC exit award at SVCA’s 23rd anniversary event

Visual from the SVCA website. October 2015

KKR and Jungle Ventures were awarded by the Singapore Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SVCA) at the sixth SVCA Annual Awards even as it celebrated its 23rd anniversary last night.

Formed in 1992 to promote the development of the venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE) industry in the city-state, the professional association maintains a membership count exceeding a hundred firms, with continued growth in tandem with the industry’s development.

The “PE Deal of 2015” award went to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) for its investment in Goodpack Limited, a Singapore-headquartered company with a patented solution to reduce costs and environmental impact in the global logistics industry. The size, complexity and competitive nature of the investment distinguished it from its peers.

The “VC Deal of 2015” aware went to General Atlantic and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan for their investment into Garena Online, an online and mobile entertainment platform based in Singapore since 2009. The firm has expanded across Southeast Asia to the key markets of Taiwan and Hong Kong and currently services millions.

Garena has launched a flagship chat application, competing with the likes of LINE and KakaoTalk, called BeeTalk, which has reached 10 million downloads across East Asia and Southeast Asia. Currently, it operates in the entertainment, communication, shopping and payment verticals.

A July 2014 report in The Straits Times has Garena co-founder  claiming it has  more than 100 million members. 2014 also saw the World Startup Report in the US evaluate Garena’s valuation at $1 billion.

Quoting industry sources, The Straits Times stated that Garena’s revenues were approximately US$200 million for 2013. When dealing with venture capital class assets, a venture’s valuation is usually a multiple of three to five times the net revenue. However, Garena is not without controversy, seemingly due to Li.

The “VC Exit of 2015” award went to Jungle Ventures for its impressive returns resulting from its investment and exit from Voyagin, a curated marketplace for travellers to discover authentic, local experiences in Asian destinations. Rakuten acquired a majority stake in Voyagin – in excess of 50 per cent – in June 2015.

Also Read: Draper investing in ASEAN-focused funds: VentureBeat

Series A investments in ASEAN tripled in 2014: Golden Gate Ventures

Private Equity in ASEAN fighting limited pool of attractive targets, fragmented markets: Bain & Company

Meanwhile, the prize for the most impactful non-profit/social enterprise venture went to Kennemer Foods International, a venture whose lead investor was LGT Venture Philanthropy.

The other competitors for this award was East Bali Cashews, which was sponsored by KKR through the provision of pro-bono business, strategic and technical assistance and Helpling Singapore, whose lead investors was Rocket Internet. 

This year’s award recipients were determined by a panel of senior executives: Willie Cheng, chairman of Singapore Institute of Directors; Dr. Wong Kien Keong, chairman of Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow; Chris Loh, a partner at Axiom Asia Private Capital; and Yeoh Oon Jin, executive chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PWC Singapore).

In 2014, assets under management (AUM) of private equity and venture capital fund managers in Singapore remained stagnant at around S$36 billion ($25.17 billion). Singapore-based fund managers were focused on putting money to work as total private equity and venture capital investments more than tripled, exceeding S$9 billion (US$6.29 billion).

Investments into Southeast Asia exceeded S$4bn ($2.79 billion), comprising 56 per cent of total PE/VC investments into Southeast Asia. Hence, Singapore continues to be the leading hub for PE/VC Fund management in Southeast Asia.

Commenting on the awards, Dr Jeffrey Chi, the chairman of SVCA and managing director of Vickers Venture Partners, said, “The winners of the 2015 SVCA Awards are a testament of the quality of the deals that can be found in this region.

He added, “PE/VC Fund management capability continues to be strengthened as Singapore’s stable legal structure, pro-business tax environment and government incentives continue to make Singapore a leading destination for the setup of enterprises, venture capital and private equity funds.”

Related Stories: Singapore’s VC investments exceed $1b in 2014 :SVCA

Singapore M&A Review 2014: Cos spend $24b in acquiring foreign firms

Singapore startup ecosystem: Great testing ground but small market?

Exits will drive growth of startup ecosystem: Jeff Chi

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.