Malaysia-headquartered private equity firm Creador is scouting opportunities in the technology sector after announcing the first close of its fifth investment vehicle Creador V.

Creador Founder and Chief Executive Officer Brahmal Vasudevan said it is looking to invest in technology sectors.

“We are starting the deployment of the fifth fund now. ​​We are also building a digital bank in Southeast Asia,” he told TechNode Global when contacted. He, however, did not elaborate on the details of the digital bank.

Asked about which are the tech sectors Creador will look into, Vasudevan said the firm is looking to build a regional credit bureau platform and the retail industry.

Creador currently holds an 80 percent stake in Malaysian credit reporting agency CTOS Digital Bhd. It is exiting 50 percent of its stake in CTOS through an initial public offering on Malaysia’s stock exchange Bursa Malaysia, DealStreetAsia reported.

Creador’s move to invest in technology comes at a time when more global PE firms are looking for investment opportunities in the tech sector in Southeast Asia.

There were at least 11 PE deals in the tech space in 2019-2021, data compiled by news portal DealStreetAsia showed.
The trend also marks a U-turn from five to seven years ago when most of the PE funding in the Southeast Asia region went to traditional sectors such as fast-moving consumer goods, real estate, healthcare, education or business services, the news portal reported in June.

In May alone, L Catterton, the largest global consumer-focused private equity firm, announced that it has invested $25 million in Singapore-based aethetics dental tech startup Zenyum. The PE firm also invested in Indonesia-based beauty and personal care e-commerce player Social Bella International for an undisclosed amount in the same month.

Malaysia-based PE firm Navis Capital announced in January that it has completed an investment in Singapore-headquartered Moneythor, a technology company which provides financial institutions and FinTech firms with solutions to enhance their digital banking services. It is also Navis’ only investment in technology, as most of its investee companies are in retail and consumer, healthcare, education and food-processing sectors, its website showed.

Creador raises $500M for first close of fifth fund amid pandemic

Earlier in a statement, Creador announced that Creador V, its fifth flagship investment vehicle, has had a first close of $500 million.

The PE firm said Creador V is the firm’s biggest first close to date and occurs four months after first inviting investors onboard in March 2021.

“We have a strong pipeline of new deals as part of this new fund; the first three of which will be announced in August,” Creador said in a statement.

Creador also said the fundraising was “unique in that it was done without the benefit of in-person meetings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Almost all existing Creador IV investors opted to invest in its latest vehicle, which will continue to focus on investment in Southeast Asia and India. The Asian Development Bank is among the investors of Creador IV, earlier media reports showed.

“The strong support from these existing investors reflects their confidence in the performance of our previous funds,” the private equity firm said.

“With this strong interest from both existing and new investors, we expect to achieve the hard cap of $680 million by the end of 2021. This fifth fund will bring the firm’s total assets under management (AUM) to more than $2 billion,” it added.

Creador’s fourth fund (Creador IV) had closed after securing around $580 million in 2019, exceeding its hard cap of $550 million, according to earlier reports. The firm’s investments from Creador IV include home improvement retailer Mr DIY Philippines, India-based value-added distributor iValue InfoSolutions, Mr DIY India, India’s Kogta Financial, Malaysian e-payment system operator GHL Systems, Shriji Polymers, and Malaysia’s Loob Holding, which owns the Tealive bubble tea brand.

Founded in 2011, Creador focuses on growth capital investments in South and Southeast Asia in countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Vietnam, Singapore, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. Its investments span across consumer sectors, financial services to payment systems, among others.

Malaysia private equity firm Creador plans $650M fifth fund by March 2021