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kiwi tech companies to head to singapore?

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We are pleased to have advised New Zealand’s cloud video production company, 90 Seconds, on their $11 million series A round led by global venture capital firm, Sequoia Capital. The transaction involved 90 Seconds redomiciling its business as a Singapore company to receive the investment.

Advising on the transaction, Lee Bagshaw explains, “This comes as a result of an increasing amount of venture capital money flowing into the Southeast Asian technology space. Subsequently, Singapore is becoming one of the world’s fastest growing tech hubs and now represents a potential alternative to the typical US investment route for Kiwi startups.”

Whilst there are a lot of investable startups already in the region, the level of institutional “series A and B” money now coming into Singapore has been transformative. This kind of follow-on investment has typically been an issue for startups in New Zealand.

90 Seconds have successfully demonstrated that there is no reason why well led Kiwi companies cannot attract investment from Singapore based investors. Key to this is companies demonstrating that they are focussed on the region and have a strategy on how to tackle the diverse markets. Companies with products in consumer spaces such as eCommerce, marketplaces, fintech, such as payments, and logistics have been in demand. However B-2-B service companies, where New Zealand has a lot of talent, have also raised good follow-on money.

Successful companies in Southeast Asia will in likelihood become attractive to buyers. The region is becoming increasingly lucrative as a fast growing digital media and mobile centric market. Companies that can overcome language, culture and local laws and scale quickly will be hard to catch, and therefore obvious M&A targets for international companies looking to expand into the region by acquisition.

Advising on 11 investments in SE Asian tech companies in 2015, Simmonds Stewart’s day job is helping NZ tech companies, like 90 Seconds, grow internationally. If you are interested in exploring Singapore or Southeast Asia as a market, send Lee an email at lee.bagshaw@simmondsstewart.com.

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