The deal marks the first investment by the fund, a collaboration between the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) and private equity firm Makara Capital. It is Southeast Asia’s first PE investment fund to source IP-driven companies internationally and capitalise on cross-border regional expansion.
MIF seeks to invest in late-stage startups and growth-stage enterprises with globally competitive technology. It focuses on bolt-on acquisitions and a “from Singapore and through Singapore” approach that leverages the city-state as a strategic hub from where companies can regionalise in the Indo-Asia Pacific and scale up.
Kelvin Tan, Director of Investments at Makara Capital, said: “MyRepublic’s unique lean operating model positions it at the vanguard of the telecommunications sector’s digital transformation in one of the most exciting growth regions of the world. The fund’s investment capital aims to enable the company’s growth ambitions, with a focus on IP management and monetization, scaling and expansion.”
According to a media release, IP ValueLab, a wholly-owned subsidiary and the enterprise engagement arm of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), conducted an intangible asset due diligence on MyRepublic to support MIF’s investment decision. The entity functions as a strategic partner to MIF, offering IP evaluation and strategy advice.
IP has emerged as a fundamental source of competitive advantage in business due to its ability to yield new areas of business and profit as well as allowing enterprises to gain a sustainable competitive edge.
The investment and backing from Makara Capital will allow MyRepublic to expand its enterprise development capabilities and accelerate its expansion across Southeast Asia’s growth markets, as well as build on its existing core markets of Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand.
“The investment will supercharge the platform’s development, support our aggressive growth path to expand our regional footprint within a record-breaking timeframe and deliver an even wider range of services. Concurrently, our engagement with IP ValueLab has proven most beneficial, and we are now working closely with MIF to implement recommended IP monetization strategies in view of further value creation for our investors,” said Malcolm Rodrigues, CEO of MyRepublic.
The current funding round is still ongoing, with MyRepublic forecasting a $110 million raise and a valation estimated at $480 million. Rodrigues says that the firm is aiming for a public listing within the next 18 months. As at September 2017, MyRepublic claims an an annualised revenue run rate of $103 million across its markets and is on track to reach its objectives for this fiscal year.
Additionally, the company is looking to launch mobiles services in the city-state via a mobile virtual networking operator (MVNO) model in partnership with a local telecoms operator in Q1 2018, as well as in markets like Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand.