Singapore-headquartered Affirma Capital, formerly known as Standard Chartered PE, is raising money for its fifth blind-pool fund smoothly with the market’s attention focused on its strong track record in Asia.
Affirma Capital is raising capital for its fifth fund worth 500 billion won ($414.3 million), according to sources on June 23. The PE firm started its pre-marketing campaign at the beginning of the year and its marketing campaign targeting limited partners in the second quarter. The size of its fifth fund has almost doubled compared to its fourth fund which was closed at 290 billion won in 2016.
Affirma Capital took its first step on its own in August 2019 as the private equity unit under Standard Chartered Group in Southeast Asia, India, China, South Korea, the Middle East and Africa established an independent firm. All assets under management of each region’s unit moved to the brand new firm.
In making investments, Affirma Capital not only uses each region’s individual funds backed by local institutional investors, but also its Global Fund series formed mainly for principal investments, capitalizing on its global pool of capital. Its fifth fund is launched for the South Korean market, backed by domestic institutional investors.
Affirma Capital’s track records have garnered attention during its latest fundraising process, with the firm’s existing funds being active in matching contributions in the Asian market. The South Korean Government is focusing on the New Southern Policy, aiming to boost economic ties with ASEAN. In line with the move, institutional investors are seeking investment opportunities in Southeast Asia and Southwest Asia.
The Korean unit of Affirma Capital has made four investments in Southeast Asia and Southwest Asia and has already made an exit from one company.
The Korean unit invested 45 billion won in India’s largest private transmission developer Sterlite Power Grid Ventures in April 2015 via its third blind-pool fund and exited in March 2018. It recorded an internal rate of return of 25 percent.
In October 2018, Affirma Capital’s Korean unit invested 17 billion won in India’s B2B-based travel platform TBO Group through its fourth blind-pool fund. TBO Group has approximately 16,000 travel agent networks in about 80 countries.
In August 2019, Affirma Capital bought a minority stake in Tirupati Group, a nutraceuticals-focused contract research and manufacturing company in India. Affirma Capital’s Korean unit and Indian unit jointly invested in the company. The Korean unit bought a 21.9% stake in the company for 29 billion won via its fourth fund.
Recently the Korean unit invested 8 billion won in the Vietnam’s second largest online recruitment firm Sieu Viet in May through its fourth fund. The number of job openings posted on the platform has gone up at an average annual growth rate of 32% over the past three years. (Reporting by Hee-yeon Han)