Who are the top venture capitalists to look out for in Asia?
From the world’s large multinational corporations (MNCs) to the fastest-growing tech startups, Singapore continues to be a regional hub, and the partner of choice for businesses.
With the rise of Southeast Asia, companies have long been deepening their presence in Singapore by establishing regional hubs which can form as a base to build, innovate and commercialise solutions for their organisation.
Technology remains the focus for growth in Singapore
This ability maintain as a technological and innovation hub is supported by the government’s vision of supporting the development of a smart nation. “The tiny country of 5.7 million must place technology, which proved instrumental in quelling Covid-19 this year, at the heart of its future development” shared Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a keynote speech at the Singapore Tech Forum.
Renown for a vibrant ecosystem featuring global research and development labs for leading Fortune 500 companies, Singapore is home to 150 venture capital funds, incubators, and accelerators.
Top 5 venture capitalists in South East Asia
Based on our market research, as well as gleaning first-hand insights from our Huxley team of specialists within these area, the top 5 firms are as follows in no particular order:
Starting from a small Japanese telco, SoftBank Vision is now a heavyweight global investor who acquired various organisations globally with presence in Mumbai, Singapore, Riyadh, and Abu Dhabi. It has launched an investment outpost in California and invested in companies such as ride-sharing startups China, India, and Indonesia.
World-renown Alibaba group is a hub of businesses comprised of core commerce, cloud computing, digital media and entertainment, and innovation initiatives. In addition, Ant Group, an unconsolidated related party to the group, provides payment services and offers financial services for consumers and merchants on our platforms.
Tencent was founded in Shenzhen, China, in 1998, and listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong since June 2004. This tech behemoth invests heavily in talent and technological innovation, actively participating in the development of the Internet industry. In 2020, it completed the set up of its regional hub in Singapore with the aim to capture potential from the rapid pace of digitisation and meet the demand for Internet-based services and solutions in South East Asia.
TPG is a global investment firm headquartered in San Francisco, California and Fort Worth, Texas, with approximately $85 billion in assets under management and 14 offices around the world. It also supported PropertyGuru's growth strategy across its key markets and assisted in S$380.5 million initial public offering (IPO) in 2019. Established in China, TPG also leads $210 Million in Series D Round in an Edtech firm based in the country.
HH Investments VC is the venture capital arm of a Single-Family Office (HH Family) headquartered in Singapore. Founded and supported by entrepreneurs that have started, failed, and grown various companies across different regions and industries in Southeast Asia.
Actively looking for Seed and Pre-A deals with exceptional entrepreneurs that can show initial traction with their product or service.
Investment climate in Singapore – mergers and acquisitions?
We spoke with Huxley Singapore’s Sales Team Manager, Jeremy Tan, to find out what the latest trends he has noticed on the ground.
“Merger and acquisition exercises creates some form of monopoly or oligopolies which have been in the limelight in recent times. As more deals require financial backing from financial institutions or government funding, it allows for less regulatory and audits on deal making in the industry which can support growth."
Below are some examples of delayed agreements and activities:
- Grab, Gojek Close in on Terms for Merger Agreement
- Indonesia's Top Start-ups Gojek and Tokopedia in Talks for $18 Billion Merger
Movement of talent in Asia
Overseeing the talent market in the region, Jeremy pointed out that talent has been greatly affected lately with consolidations requiring companies to restructure and reorganise their departments. Talent faces the brunt of not only being redundant, but also having to work with managers or teams they did not sign up for to curb through tough times. Some of which are also simply overworked as company customer databases increased rapidly without having enough headcount to support this growth.
As such, candidates become especially cautious of making a career move as it puts them in risky positions amidst the market slowdown, even in thriving industries such as e-commerce and food delivery. The rapid increase in redundancies and furloughing exercises have also created an oversupply of candidates in the market which has led to salary levels decreasing and a high number of quick hires in roles they might not pursue in the long term. The temporary prop of the employment market in this manner might have future repercussions once the markets operate at full steam again, as there might be an even higher number of candidates in market seeking roles, reducing skill and experience value in the recovery.
Overcoming challenges to hiring during the pandemic
From an organisation’s perspective, clients face a multitude of challenges which includes but not limited to:
- Having to hire natives in Singapore whether locals or permanent residents
Singapore remains as a regional hub that is highly dependent on foreign talent to support the high demand in the market. Having to hire only natives gravely limits our talent pool which can in turn increase the cost to attract the right candidates for the right roles.
- High cost to employ in-demand candidates
While high cost remains a huge deterring factor for cautious organisations, hiring these candidates could have negative repercussions as they might not entirely be passionate about the role, and therefore not achieve desired outcomes in the long run, amidst the cost outlay.
- Increased rate of offer rejections and recruitment process dropouts
The recruitment climate has made it easier for organisations to obtain a greater number of direct applications from interested candidates. However, this trend has also contributed to increased risks of hiring a candidate that might not be the ‘best fit’ for the role. As a result, a lot of time is wasted on processes with candidates who are merely seeking to understand their market value in a cashflow cautious economy.
Is your organisation facing some of the problems we have highlighted above? If so, Huxley is here to provide you with the advice and support that your company would need to curb through these uncertain times. Feel free to reach out to us via the contact form below for a confidential conversation or reach out to Jeremy Tan directly who can better assist you with your hiring needs.