KKR’s latest Southeast Asia bet is a $144M investment in PropertyGuru

Global investment giant KKR is warming up to Southeast Asia after it made a third high-profile investment. The firm — which has nearly $150 billion in assets under management — has cut a SG$200 million (US$144 million) check for PropertyGuru, the region’s largest property listings group. Founded in 2006, PropertyGuru operates rental and sale listing sites in […]

Global investment giant KKR is warming up to Southeast Asia after it made a third high-profile investment. The firm — which has nearly $150 billion in assets under management — has cut a SG$200 million (US$144 million) check for PropertyGuru, the region’s largest property listings group.

Founded in 2006, PropertyGuru operates rental and sale listing sites in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. Prior to today’s deal (its Series D), its most recent investment came in 2015, when it raised SG$175 million from backers including TPG and Australia’s Square Peg. This new financing takes it to SG$440 million (or around $320 million) thus far. You’d imagine that the deal values PropertyGuru at/above $1 billion — the much-vaunted unicorn milestone — but the company has declined to reveal its valuation at this point.

It isn’t talking about its valuation, but PropertyGuru CEO Hari V. Krishnan did say in a statement, however, that the company is profitable, cash flow positive and seeing revenue grow at 25 percent per year. The firm claims to have a dominant 55 percent market share in the countries it operates in and it is actively working to expand that reach in Southeast Asia, a region of over 600 million consumers which has more internet users than the population of the U.S.

Indeed, in tandem with the funding news, PropertyGuru said it has completed the buyout of Vietnam-based property portal Batdongsan.com.vn, which it claims is the country’s largest property portal with over four million unique visitors per month. The site will join PropertyGuru’s collection of business through the deal, which is undisclosed and follows a strategic investment back in 2016.

Singapore is one of five markets in Southeast Asia where PropertyGuru operates

For KKR, this investment in the latest in a series of early bets that the firm has made on digital startups in Southeast Asia. The firm has put money into Indonesian ride-sharing giant Go-Jek, which is backed by the likes of Tencent and Google and now said to be worth $9 billion, and Philippines-based fintech venture Voyager, which is also backed by Tencent following a recent $175 million deal. It also invested in Thailand-based e-commerce enabler aCommerce via its Emerald Media fund last year.

In a statement, KKR’s head of Southeast Asia, Ashish Shastry, paid tribute to PropertyGuru which he said has “clearly established itself as the Southeast Asian champion in the online property space.”

PropertyGuru is not alone in digitizing real estate, and its rivals in Southeast Asia include iProperty, a business that’s listed on the ASX in Australia and Singapore-based startup 99.co — which counts Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin among its backers and had a litigation battle with PropertyGuru. There, of course, plenty of single-market businesses that operate across various Southeast Asian countries.

JUST’s plant-based eggs are coming to a grocery store near you

Vegans, rejoice! JUST’s sustainable egg alternative is set to arrive in stores this fall. The vegan foods company, formerly known as Hampton Creek, will sell the egg-free and dairy-free “egg” in certain grocery store chains across the U.S.  JUST co-founder and CEO Josh Tetrick, whose company was valued at $1.1 billion last year, says fans […]

Vegans, rejoice! JUST’s sustainable egg alternative is set to arrive in stores this fall.

The vegan foods company, formerly known as Hampton Creek, will sell the egg-free and dairy-free “egg” in certain grocery store chains across the U.S. 

JUST co-founder and CEO Josh Tetrick, whose company was valued at $1.1 billion last year, says fans of JUST have long-awaited this day.

“Launching JUST Egg is a major milestone and we’re excited for it to become a favorite part of families’ meals far into the future,” Tetrick said in a statement. “Fans of JUST have been looking forward to this moment for some time and we’re eager to hear customers’ feedback when they try it at home or in their favorite restaurants.”

JUST’s “egg” product is among its growing line of vegan foods. It also carries salad dressing, cookie dough and mayo, most of which you can buy on Amazon and in grocery stores. The company also runs a clean meat lab, where it’s competing against Impossible Foods, Memphis Meats and other startups to conquer the lab-grown meat market.

If you’re unfamiliar with JUST, you may remember Hampton Creek. The company ditched its former name in 2017 after major scandals and poor business decisions led it down a bad, bad road.

Founded in 2011, JUST was a VC darling, raising capital from Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff and Khosla Ventures, among others. But in 2016, reports emerged that employees were buying products off the shelves to increase sales figures, a move that resulted in an SEC investigation.

The company went on to lose several executives amid other reports it was blasting through $10 million per month. The final blow, however, was last July, when every member of the company’s board stepped down, except for CEO Josh Tetrick, who remains at the helm.

After a couple of months, Tetrick hit the ground running again with new board members and patents signaling a new direction for JUST.

JUST Egg will be available in Hy-Vee, Fresh Thyme, Gelson’s, Nugget, Mollie Stone’s, New Seasons, Lunardi’s, Mariano’s, Haggen, Metropolitan Market, Acme Fresh Markets and others.

JUST’s plant-based eggs are coming to a grocery store near you

Vegans, rejoice! JUST’s sustainable egg alternative is set to arrive in stores this fall. The vegan foods company, formerly known as Hampton Creek, will sell the egg-free and dairy-free “egg” in certain grocery store chains across the U.S.  JUST co-founder and CEO Josh Tetrick, whose company was valued at $1.1 billion last year, says fans […]

Vegans, rejoice! JUST’s sustainable egg alternative is set to arrive in stores this fall.

The vegan foods company, formerly known as Hampton Creek, will sell the egg-free and dairy-free “egg” in certain grocery store chains across the U.S. 

JUST co-founder and CEO Josh Tetrick, whose company was valued at $1.1 billion last year, says fans of JUST have long-awaited this day.

“Launching JUST Egg is a major milestone and we’re excited for it to become a favorite part of families’ meals far into the future,” Tetrick said in a statement. “Fans of JUST have been looking forward to this moment for some time and we’re eager to hear customers’ feedback when they try it at home or in their favorite restaurants.”

JUST’s “egg” product is among its growing line of vegan foods. It also carries salad dressing, cookie dough and mayo, most of which you can buy on Amazon and in grocery stores. The company also runs a clean meat lab, where it’s competing against Impossible Foods, Memphis Meats and other startups to conquer the lab-grown meat market.

If you’re unfamiliar with JUST, you may remember Hampton Creek. The company ditched its former name in 2017 after major scandals and poor business decisions led it down a bad, bad road.

Founded in 2011, JUST was a VC darling, raising capital from Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff and Khosla Ventures, among others. But in 2016, reports emerged that employees were buying products off the shelves to increase sales figures, a move that resulted in an SEC investigation.

The company went on to lose several executives amid other reports it was blasting through $10 million per month. The final blow, however, was last July, when every member of the company’s board stepped down, except for CEO Josh Tetrick, who remains at the helm.

After a couple of months, Tetrick hit the ground running again with new board members and patents signaling a new direction for JUST.

JUST Egg will be available in Hy-Vee, Fresh Thyme, Gelson’s, Nugget, Mollie Stone’s, New Seasons, Lunardi’s, Mariano’s, Haggen, Metropolitan Market, Acme Fresh Markets and others.

Golden Gate Ventures hits first close on new $100M fund for Southeast Asia

One of the fascinating things about watching an emerging startup ecosystem is that it isn’t just companies that are scaling, the very VC firms that feed them are growing themselves, too. That’s perhaps best embodied by Golden Gate Ventures, a Singapore-based firm founded by three Silicon Valley entrepreneurs in 2011 which is about to close a […]

One of the fascinating things about watching an emerging startup ecosystem is that it isn’t just companies that are scaling, the very VC firms that feed them are growing themselves, too. That’s perhaps best embodied by Golden Gate Ventures, a Singapore-based firm founded by three Silicon Valley entrepreneurs in 2011 which is about to close a huge new fund for Southeast Asia.

Golden Gate started out with a small seed investment fund before raising a second worth $60 million in 2015. Now it is in the closes stages of finalizing a new $100 million fund, which has completed a first close of over $65 million in commitments, a source with knowledge of discussions told TechCrunch.

A filing lodged with the SEC in June first showed the firm’s intent to raise $100 million. The source told TechCrunch that a number of LPs from Golden Gate’s previous funds have already signed up, including Naver, while Mistletoe, the firm run by SoftBank Chairman Masayoshi Son’s brother Taizo, is among the new backers joining.

Golden Gate’s existing LP base also includes Singapore sovereign fund Temasek, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, and South Korea’s Hanwha.

A full close for the fund is expected before the end of the year.

The firm has made over 40 investments to date and its portfolio includes mobile classifieds service Carousell, automotive sales startup Carro, real estate site 99.co, and payment gateway Omise. TechCrunch understands that the firm’s investment thesis will remain the same with this new fund. When it raised its second fund, founding partner Vinnie Lauria told us that Golden Gate had found its match at early-stage investing and it will remain lean and nimble like the companies it backs.

One significant change internally, however, sees Justin Hall promoted to partner at the fund. He joins Lauria, fellow founding partner Jeffrey Paine, and Michael Lints at partner level.

Hall first joined Golden Gate in 2012 as an intern while still a student, before signing on full-time in 2013. His rise through the ranks exemplifies the growth and development within Southeast Asia’s startup scene over that period — it isn’t just limited to startups themselves.

The Golden Gate Ventures team circa 2016 — it has since added new members

With the advent of unicorns such as ride-sharing firms Grab and Go-Jek, travel startup Traveloka, and e-commerce companies like Tokopedia, Southeast Asia has begun to show potential for homegrown tech companies in a market that includes over 650 million consumers and more than 300 million internet users. The emergence of these companies has spiked investor interest, which provides the capital that is the lifeblood for VCs and their funds.

Golden Gate is the only one raising big. Openspace, formerly NSI Ventures, is raising $125 million for its second fund, Jungle Ventures is said to be planning a $150 million fund, and Singapore’s Golden Equator and Korea Investment Partners have a joint $88 million fund, while Temasek-linked Vertex closed a record $210 million fund last year.

Growth potential is leading the charge but at the same time funds are beginning to focus on realizing returns for LPs through exits, which is challenging since there have been few acquisitions of meaningful size or public listings out of Southeast Asia so far. But, for smaller funds, the results are already promising.

Data from Prequin, which tracks investment money worldwide, shows that Golden Gate’s first fund has already returned a multiple of over 4X, while its second is at 1.3 despite a final close in 2016.

Beyond any secondary sales — it is not uncommon for early-stage backers to sell a minority portion of equity as more investment capital pours in — Golden Gate’s exits have included the sale of Redmart to Lazada (although not a blockbuster), Priceline’s acquisition of Woomoo, Line’s acquisition of Temanjalan and the sale of Mapan (formerly Ruma) to Go-Jek.