Cash Is Pouring Into Singapore's Biggest Private Venture Fund

  • Singaporean VC firm is sussing out “deep tech” investments
  • Finian Tan is looking to do more early-stage deals in China

Finian Tan, chairman of Vickers Venture Partners.

Photographer: Wei Leng Tay/Bloomberg

The Singaporean venture capital firm led by Finian Tan, who made his name investing early in Chinese search giant Baidu Inc., has completed its largest fundraising yet to bankroll global deals.

Vickers Venture Partners raised a total of $230 million, the company said in a statement. That includes $190 million in their fifth fund and a yuan-denominated vehicle of $40 million.

Vickers stands out among the island’s VC firms by posting its performance on its website. The net value of its fourth fund has increased 4.85 times, the world’s best performance among those that debuted in 2012, according to data compiled by Preqin at the end of June. The investment house is now targeting what Tan refers to as “deep technology” -- real scientific advancement as opposed to mobile apps.

“We are focusing on deep tech and impact,” Tan said in an interview. “That means it’s a business with a patent and hard for competitors to copy. In emerging markets, we are in digital wallets and health, which we can measure by the number of lives we affect.”

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Co-founded by Tan with four partners in 2005, Vickers began in 2012 to invest in San Diego-based regenerative medicine company Samumed LLC, last valued at about $12 billion. It’s the only VC firm backing the company, which gets the rest of its funding primarily from family offices.

Among its portfolio companies, KPISOFT Inc., an enterprise performance management startup, is shooting for an initial public offering in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2018. Others include SiSaf, a biotech firm that aims to improve drug administration; lifestyle and fitness startup GuavaPass; digital payments company MatchMove Pay; and Spark Systems, a foreign exchange platform.

Vickers has offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, New York and San Diego, with a plan to open a new office in San Francisco in 2018.

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