Catcha Group announced the formal launch of Catcha Ventures, a division focused on minority investments in high growth new media, technology and mobile companies in Southeast Asia. Catcha Ventures will invest between US$50-100m in selected companies over the next three to five years.
Whilst venture capital and angel investments in start-up companies has increased throughout the region, growth-stage funding has been largely overlooked, the company said. Catcha Ventures has been founded to address a lack of funding for business that have matured from a start-up and entered their “growth phase”.
Patrick Grove, Group CEO of Catcha Group said, “Over the last 15 years we have created a number of highly successful digital companies in the ASEAN region. We are excited to bring our experience and knowledge to bear in working with the next generation of disruptive entrepreneurs to help them create amazing digital businesses”.
Since 2007, Catcha Group has taken four of its portfolio companies from start up through to IPO and still controls all four public companies today. One such company, iProperty Group, recently attracted a US$100m investment from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation in return for a 17% stake.
The challenges faced by companies in their growth phase are inherently different from those encountered by start-ups. These new issues often include rapid revenue and customer growth, establishing and scaling management and technology systems, dealing with competition and regional expansion. Catcha Ventures will deploy a unique mentorship program, underpinned by Catcha Group’s network of seasoned digital CEOs and executives, allowing entrepreneurs to leverage off and learn from Catcha Group’s management leaders.
Grove continued, “We have enjoyed enormous benefits from knowledge sharing between our companies and will deploy the exact mentorship and investee community management model across our Catcha Ventures portfolio companies. We will pair each investee company with a senior mentor and advisor from within our group to help them navigate challenges as their business grows. Chances are, for any digital business encountering growth related issues in Southeast Asia, a company within our network has already successfully resolved that same challenge. Funding is one thing, but this experience and access to our network of executives and advisors is both invaluable and unique.”
Catcha Ventures’ intends to build its investment portfolio in line with Catcha Group’s investment strategy of investing in proven digital business models in emerging markets. The division has already begun to make investments.