PH-listed tech firm Xurpas to acquire VC firm Wavemaker Partners US

A trader takes orders on a telephone at the Philippine Stock Exchange. Source: Reuters

Xurpas, a Philippines-listed consumer technology company, announced Wednesday that it has agreed to acquire Los Angeles-based early-stage venture capital firm Wavemaker Partners US for 170 million pesos ($3.3 million).

In a statement, Xurpas said the acquisition will be paid for in cash. As part of the deal, the founder and general partners of Wavemaker US will also subscribe to a total of 1.7 billion Xurpass unissued shares for an approximately 48 per cent stake in the listed technology firm. Xurpas had a market cap of 1.83 billion pesos ($36.13 million) as of market close on Wednesday.

The transaction does not include Wavemaker’s Southeast Asia practice, which will remain independent and wholly owned by its management.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Xurpas said it will purchase 100 per cent equity in a holding company, to be formed by Xurpas founder Eric Manlunas, Paul Santos and James Jordan that will consolidate all of their rights, title and interest over the US management companies managed by them.

Several management companies that manage various private partnerships comprising the bulk of Wavemaker Partners US’s assets under management will be consolidated into the holding company.

The holding company will have equity interest on the following: 62.5 per cent of Siemer Ventures LLC, 66.67 per cent of Wavemaker Partners LLC, 90 per cent of Wavemaker Management LLC, and 100 per cent of Wavemaker Partners US.

Wavemaker US has been operating for almost 17 years as a top-rated US technology fund and has a track record of successful exits via both public offering of shares and acquisitions. It has over $210 million in assets under management.

Founded by Eric Manlunas in 2003, the VC firm has invested in over 230 technology companies and focuses on high impact tech areas such as enterprise software, data and intelligence platforms, and other technology-enabled companies in digital media and consumer.

Some of the more prominent investments Wavemaker US has made over the last several years include Mindbody, which went public and was eventually acquired by Vista Equity for $1.9 billion; StyleHaul which was acquired by RTL for over $200 million; and Viagogo, which has become the largest ticketing exchange outside of the US.

“Despite our already rapid growth during the last several years, we intend to further grow Wavemaker US’ assets exponentially in the next 5 to 7 years and this partnership with Xurpas will enhance our chances of achieving that,” said Manlunas.

The deal is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2020, pending satisfaction of certain conditions and securing shareholder approvals.

Xurpas said Wavemaker US will appoint two members to Xurpas’s board and the general partners of the VC firm will continue to run, operate and control the fund.

Xurpas, originally founded in 2001 as a content provider to telecommunications operators, offers mobile applications, enterprise software solutions, digital advertising, HR technology platforms, and blockchain technology.

“This acquisition brings forward our vision of expanding Xurpas’ technology mandate and gives our shareholders access to promising venture-backed early-estate companies in the US and globally,” said Xurpas chairman Nix Nolledo.

Back in September, Xurpas agreed to sell its 51 per cent stake in mobile content developer Yondu back to its original owner, Globe Telecom, for $9.6 million. Xurpas acquired the stake from Globe in 2015 for $17 million.

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.