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Given how sentiment withered as 2018 wore on, it comes as little surprise that 2019 has thus far been characterized by uncertainty. Concerns about the macro climate, high valuations, and unclear paths to exit are primarily to blame. GPs want to be sure their thesis is watertight before pulling the trigger, which means more time spent on due diligence and value creation plans. Our panel of top investors assess the current state of the market.
Technology serves as an enabler across almost every industry, bringing about fundamental changes in how people eat, sleep, shop, trade and socialize. Investors must be able to spot the next big monetization opportunity. This could mean shepherding a start-up through its early rounds or betting on the ability of an established player to achieve significant scale. Our diverse collection of investors explain how they identify transformative technologies and work with founders to realize this potential.
In a climate of abundant capital, VC investors remain competitive by finding ways to make themselves relevant and useful to entrepreneurs. Post-investment services are increasingly part of the engagement toolkit in Asia, whether it involves serving as a high-level sounding board to founders or utilising internal and external resources to help with recruitment, marketing, and finance. In this session a panel of investors discusses their hands-on efforts to drive value creation in start-ups.
Private equity firms, sovereign wealth funds, hedge funds, and strategic players are all active in this space, as are multi-strategy VC firms keen to continue backing portfolio companies – and make new investments – in later-stage rounds. Our seasoned industry practitioners consider the implications of broader investor participation in technology.
Venture capital fundraising this year is unlikely to match the record total posted in 2018, but LPs are still keen for exposure. There is plenty to choose from, with incumbents raising larger funds and numerous brand-name spin-outs. For many investors, the key question is do they want to look beyond China, which offers a history of returns that other markets do not. A panel of LPs share their visions of an Asian VC portfolio.
Levels of development vary markedly across Asia’s venture capital markets, but all are to some extent benefiting from growing investor interest – domestic and international, high net worth and institutional – in the asset class. The combination of maturity and the scope to participate at more points along the value chain as start-ups stay under private ownership for longer is encouraging diversification in strategy and skillsets. Investors operating in different markets share their tips for success.
Asian investors have become a mainstay of the alternatives space. Those with more advanced programmes have built up strong in-house skills and become active co-investors, with direct investment the next priority in select areas. For more recent arrivals, the challenge is choosing where and with whom to allocate capital, always conscious of j-curve mitigation. Our panellists explain how their approaches are evolving and what managers must do to win favour from Asia.