Ex-president of Sea Ltd launches private equity firm to back South-east Asia start-ups

Mr Nicholas Nash was previously the South-east Asian head of US fund General Atlantic.
Mr Nicholas Nash was previously the South-east Asian head of US fund General Atlantic.PHOTO: NICK NASH/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE (REUTERS) Nicholas Nash, the former president of Singapore-based online gaming and e-commerce company Sea Ltd, has launched a private equity firm - Asia Partners - to invest in South-east Asian technology start-ups.

Asia Partners' four other co-founders include Oliver Rippel, a former senior executive of South Africa's Naspers, and Pitra Ciputra Harun, who was previously with Indonesian e-commerce company Bukalapak, according to the company statement on Friday (June 14).

The private equity firm aims to make investments of between US$20 million ($27.4 million) and US$100 million.

Mr Nash, who was previously the South-east Asian head of US fund General Atlantic, played a key role in Tencent-backed Sea's initial public offer on the New York Stock Exchange, in which it raised nearly US$900 million. Mr Nash left Sea last year.

"At Asia Partners, we believe deeply in the potential for growth equity to accelerate economic growth throughout South-east Asia," said Mr Rippel, who had led Naspers' investment in India's Flipkart.

Southeast Asia has turned into a battleground for start-ups, racing to provide payments to e-commerce to the region's nearly 650 million people, with investors keen to back them.

A 2018 report by Bain and Co said the region will give rise to at least 10 companies with a market value of more than US$1 billion each by 2024.