Venture investing is about betting on people to build great businesses

With Chua Kee Lock, CEO, Vertex Holdings

Singapore’s Vertex Holdings, the venture capital arm of Temasek, has had a rather busy year with fundraising, and headline events from portfolio companies. Vertex Ventures SEA & India, part of Vertex’s global family of funds was Grab’s [then GrabTaxi] first institutional investor back in 2013 The SE Asian decacorn is targeting a listing on the Nasdaq in Q4 following a USD 40-billion SPAC deal with Altimeter Growth Corp in April.

On the fundraising side, Vertex Holdings raised SGD 450 million through the issuance of a seven-year senior unsecured Singapore dollar bonds as part of the firm’s maiden USD 2-billion multicurrency debt issuance programme. The first SGD corporate bond issuance by a global VC firm was upsized due to the “overwhelming investor demand”. This is the first time Vertex Holdings, which has AUM in excess of USD 4.5 billion, is publicly issuing bonds. The bond issue seeks to not only diversify its sources of funding but also allow investors exposure to venture capital as an asset class. 

For Chua Kee Lock, venture investing, at its heart, is a “people business.” He believes top-tier teams and talent are core to building great enterprises. Vertex Holdings has an active portfolio of over 200 firms in technology and healthcare across key innovation hubs around the world. Its regional portfolio includes Grab, PatSnap, Validus, Tickled Media, FirstCry, Warung Pintar and Nium [the latest unicorn in its stable]. Join us in this conversation to know more about Vertex and their ability to create value beyond capital.