Catcha Group, a Malaysia based investment firm with a portfolio of successful companies, has just announced that it will be investing up to US$150 million in online businesses in ASEAN over the next five years. The funds will be deployed directly and through its subsidiaries and associated companies for mergers, acquisitions, seed and development investments in start up and small businesses, and venture capital in the online sector.
Catcha Group currently boasts a portfolio of online assets worth in excess of US$300 million, including iProperty Group (listed on the Australian Securities Exchange), Catcha Media Berhad (listed on ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia), iCarAsia (listed on the Australian Securities), as well as several other private investments. One of its digital media network company Catcha Digital Asia, was also recently acquired by Japanese e-marketing company Opt Inc.
“We’ve been in the online space for 13 years and have never seen a macro picture as great as this. The US$150 million of investment is based on three key factors currently in play: the strong macro picture; an abundance of ideas and entrepreneurs, and; proof that excellent exits from investments are possible”, said Patrick Grove, Group CEO of Catcha Group.
While we are all familiar about the strong macro picture in Southeast Asia as well as the abundance of ideas and entrepreneur, Patrick added that the ASEAN region has begun to show demonstrable exits and strong returns.
Table 1: Top 7 publicly listed ASEAN companies (online sector) by market capitalization at 18 March 2013. Source: Catcha Group
“The region now boasts seven publicly listed companies focusing on the online sector. Almost half of this list is comprised of companies founded and controlled by Catcha Group.”
Catcha Group and related entities have completed over 50 investments, mergers and acquisitions since inception. One of Catcha Group’s most successful investments to date was a US$300,000 investment into iProperty Group in 2007, which is today one of the region’s largest internet companies, worth just over US$170 million.
Further announcements are expected from Catcha Group in the coming weeks.