Temasek unit Heliconia Capital bets on Singapore growth ventures looking to turn global

Visual of Heliconia Capital Management website.

Temasek Holdings unit Heliconia Capital Management is targeting local enterprises that wish to expand abroad demonstrated by its recent cornerstone investment in local food and beverage multi-dining concept brand Jumbo Group.

Jumbo Group surged in its trading debut after selling shares in the city-state’s largest initial public offering (IPO) to date for 2015. The IPO was backed by cornerstone investors Heliconia and Osim International’s chairman and founder Ron Sim. Initially offered at S$0.25, the shares rose as much as 58 per cent to an intra-day high of S$0.395.

Jumbo operates restaurants offering pork rib soup, or bak kut teh,  as well as ramen noodles. It claims to serve more than 6000 customers daily, according to its website. A filing indicates its plans to expand abroad and deepen its footprint in Singapore with the opening of four more outlets in China and Singapore within 2016-2017 period.

Heliconia describes itself as an investment firm that focuses on growth-oriented Singapore firms, as well as investing directly into Singapore-focused private equity (PE) funds as a limited partner (LP). According to their Bloomberg profile, the funds that Heliconia infuses capital into mandates investment of at least 50 per cent of committed capital into Singapore-based ventures.

In an interaction with Bloomberg, CEO Derek Lau explained: “For Heliconia, our mandate is to identify and support Singapore-headquartered companies to be globally competitive companies. We will continue with a steady pace of investment.”

Heliconia took a S$10-million holding in Jumbo’s IPO, according to a filing by Jumbo Group. According to Lau, the Temasek unit has invested in about nine ventures focused on urbanisation and the growing middle class in the region.

Publicly available information on their website indicates a portfolio of nine ventures that includes Singapore-based gaming hardware manufacturer Razer, MRO offshore solutions provider Mencast and engineering solutions architect and provider Hope Technik, which was reported by Tech in Asia to be exploring swarm intelligence applications for drones in 2014.

In a statement to Bloomberg, Lau said, “We’re careful. We have no set targets; it depends on when the opportunities arise. There’s no fixed formula. We need the stars to be aligned. Obviously the companies themselves must see the value that Heliconia can bring.”

Also Read: Temasek unit, OSIM founder come in as cornerstone investors in seafood chain Jumbo Group’s IPO

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.