South Korea’s STIC Investments will create STIC Pan-Asia 4th Industry Growth (Pan-Asia) Fund II with a focus on growth companies in Asia’s emerging countries.

According to investment banking (IB) industry sources on Monday, STIC has decided to create Pan-Asia Fund II and started marketing towards domestic institutional investors. It is said that the PE firm has started to create a new fund worth 500 billion won as its first Pan-Asia Fund closed at 317 billion won in May 2018 has used up more than 70 percent of its commitments in less than two years after inception. Korea Post and Yellow Umbrella, South Korea’s mutual-aid association for small and mid-sized business owners, have participated in the Pan-Asia Fund I as limited partners.

STIC’s Pan-Asia Fund focuses on growth companies in Asia’s emerging countries like Vietnam and India. Pan-Asia Fund I, which deployed almost 75 percent of committed capital in less than two years since its launch, has invested 80 percent of the amount in overseas companies, including an acquisition of a minority stake in Chinese food service company Joyvio Group in partnership with SK Group. STIC and SK Group acquired a 14 percent stake in Joyvio for 188 million dollars (220 billion won). It also invested in Vietnam’s shrimp farming company Viet UC Seafood and India’s hyper-local delivery startup Dunzo.

STIC’s Pan-Asia Fund series invests in overseas companies that have connections with South Korean companies or their overseas entities. About 30 percent of the total commitment can be invested in companies that are not related to domestic companies.

Pan-Asia Fund I has used its committed capital to invest in overseas companies except for two domestic companies. As the fund was launched less than two years ago, not many exit deals have been made yet. STIC has made a partial exit from Cammsys Vina, a Vietnamese subsidiary of camera module producer Cammsys while Cammsys Global’s initial public offering (IPO) on the Kosdaq bourse is currently underway. Cammsys Global is a special purpose company established to list Cammsys Vina.

Whereas domestic PE firms frequently form project funds to invest in overseas assets, it is a rare case that a domestic PE firm launches a blind-pool fund to invest exclusively in overseas assets. Pan-Asia Fund I is the first blind-pool fund for overseas investments in the firm’s history. (By reporter Kim Hye-ran)