SG’s Vulpes launches COVID-19 fund, ropes in PropertyGuru co-founder as venture partner

Photo by Duy Nguyen on Unsplash

Singapore-based fund manager Vulpes Investment Management is launching a special opportunities venture fund aimed at investing in companies affected by the COVID-19 crisis. It did not disclose the size of the fund.

The firm has roped in two senior executives to join its investment team: Jani Rautiainen, co-founder of PropertyGuru, and Hugh Bickerstaff, former chief investment officer at Australian early-stage VC firm Investible.

Rautiainen will join Vulpes as a venture partner, much like his PropertyGuru co-founder Steve Melhuish, who joined venture capital firm Wavemaker Partners in a similar role in 2018. A venture partner is typically not a full-time, permanent member of the firm but is brought onboard to source and manage investments.

Bickerstaff, meanwhile, will join Vulpes as an investment committee member and advisor.

The special opportunities fund will seek to make at least 10 investments in the next 12 months and has begun meeting founders in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Vulpes added that it intends to co-invest with other venture investors looking for additional funding to support existing portfolio companies.

“We think we can quickly build an attractive portfolio…at attractive valuations if we are prepared to invest now, and prepared to invest in founders we have not met face to face, while other investors in traditional venture funds try and wait for the storm to pass,” said Field Pickering, Head of Venture Investing at Vulpes.

Founded in 2011, Vulpes was started by Stephen Diggle, co-founder of Artradis Fund Management, an Asia-based hedge fund. The firm has been managing third party funds since 2001 and actively managing venture capital in Southeast Asia since 2008.

In 2017, Vulpes launched a venture fund for Myanmar. In 2019, it formed a fund management partnership with Patamar Capital, a US-based venture firm focused on South and Southeast Asia. Some of Vulpes’s past investments include Southeast Asia’s property listing platform PropertyGuru, and Thai influencer marketing platform Hiip.

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.