War­burg sees gold in Go-Jek

New Straits Times - - World -

SIN­GA­PORE: War­burg Pin­cus’s in­vest­ment in the first bil­lion­dol­lar In­done­sian tech startup be­gan with an Amer­i­can ex­ec­u­tive notic­ing green mo­tor­cy­cle hel­mets on the roads of Jakarta.

Jef­frey Perl­man, the buy­out firm’s South­east Asia head, had been trav­el­ling to the In­done­sian cap­i­tal reg­u­larly to over­see the firm’s joint ven­ture with mall op­er­a­tor PT Nir­vana Devel­op­ment when he started to see more and more mo­tor­cy­clists wear­ing green head­gear em­bla­zoned with the Go-Jek logo.

He soon set up a meet­ing with Nadiem Makarim, a co-founder of the on-de­mand ride provider, and in Au­gust last year his firm par­tic­i­pated in Go-Jek’s US$550 mil­lion (RM2.45 bil­lion) fi­nanc­ing round.

The path to the Go-Jek in­vest­ment — the largest-ever fund­ing round for an In­done­sian startup — re­flects War­burg Pin­cus’s broader strat­egy in Asia.

Af­ter more than two decades of deal­mak­ing in China and In­dia, the United States pri­vate equity firm, which closed a US$13.4 bil­lion global fund in 2015, has turned its at­ten­tion to South­east Asia with an ini­tial fo­cus on en­trepreneurs in In­done­sia, Viet­nam and Sin­ga­pore.

“We have seen how the busi­nesses have evolved in China and In­dia, and want to use that ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge as we see a lot of com­mon­al­ity in the growth of the com­pa­nies in South­east Asia,” said Perl­man in an in­ter­view, here.

The New York-based firm had few in­vest­ments in South­east Asia be­fore 2013. Since then, it has em­barked on a flurry of ac­tiv­ity, and in July it opened an of­fice here to fur­ther grow across the re­gion.

With Asia in­creas­ingly be­com­ing a big part of the firm’s global strat­egy, ac­count­ing for about 35 per cent of to­tal new in­vest­ment ac­tiv­ity, Perl­man said he wanted to ap­ply lessons learned in­vest­ing in China and In­dia to South­east Asia as the firm starts to ex­pand its at­ten­tion to Malaysia, Thai­land and the Philip­pines. Bloomberg

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.