SoHo Advisors to raise $200m APAC-focused fund by end-2022

Singapore. Photo: Unsplash

SoHo Advisors, a US and Singapore-based boutique bank that focuses on the fintech sector, is launching a $200 million fund to invest in technology, media and telecom firms in the Asia Pacific region.

The fund will be led by John Esrey and Frank Troise, who will be its co-general partners (GPs) based out of its offices in Singapore and San Francisco.

According to Esrey, the fund will make roughly 10-15 investments with cheque sizes ranging from a few million to $20 million. It is open to taking both majority and minority stakes in private companies, as well as minority stakes in public companies. The fund will mainly focus on primary and secondary transactions.

“In the last year, we probably saw 10-15 different opportunities that were not publicly auctioned. These were deals that we could have put money to work, but couldn’t because we didn’t have a fund up and running,” said Esrey in a phone interview with DealStreetAsia.

He added that SoHo sees a tremendous opportunity to leverage its relationships with the US capital markets, the tech ecosystem in the San Francisco Bay Area, and opportunities in Asia using Singapore as a hub. “We envision this to be similar to KKR’s Next Generation Technology Growth Fund but more cross-border in nature,” added Esrey.

Esrey declined to comment on SoHo’s fundraising progress, but DealStreetAsia understands that the firm has received roughly 25% in soft commitments for the fund, with interest coming in from a Singapore sovereign wealth fund and other investors backed by the Singapore government.

The GPs will contribute about 20% of the corpus, with the remaining to be raised predominantly from Singapore and Asian investors, as well as US family offices and HWNIs.

The fund, which is yet to get a name for itself, is expected to begin deployment as quickly as the next 60-90 days. This may see the SoHo fund form special purpose vehicles (SPVs) for some of its initial transactions before rolling them up as soon as its fund vehicle is formally set up.

Esrey declined to comment on SoHo’s investment timeline. He, however, confirmed that the fund is seeking a full close in about a year’s time. “We’re looking at a late-2022 full close with the potential to roll into Q1 2023,” he added.

SoHo Advisors was founded in 1997 in Montecito, California as a single-family office. It has since expanded to serve 18 of the US wealthiest ultra-high net worth (UHNW) families and estates, according to its official website.

The fintech-focused boutique bank and corporate advisor has been maintaining its APAC presence through Singapore since 2013.

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.