Hubert Burda Media, the Germany-headquartered media empire, is no stranger to Southeast Asia. The firm has joined funding rounds and even venture capital funds as limited partner.
The print and online media company employs over 10,000 people globally and reported a revenue of US$2.35 billion in 2015.
Now the firm’s investment arm, Burda Principal Investments, has started a dedicated investment team in Singapore.
Former Gree Ventures principal Albert Shyy has come on board to head the Singapore office. He joins two Burda employees in Singapore who were juggling investing and media management duties. The three-strong team will now focus solely on funding startups.
Albert tells Tech in Asia he is excited about the potential of making an impact in the region on the series B stage, which still proves challenging for a lot of businesses. Burda plans to continue investing in tech companies in Southeast Asia.
The company has already made tech investments in this part of the world, including Thailand-based price comparison and ecommerce search engine Priceza last September and medical services marketplace Medical Departures last March.
In 2015, it invested in Vietnamese search engine Coc Coc.
Albert is eager to combine his local expertise on companies that he has observed from early to growth stage with Burda’s resources and company-building experience.
One of the key challenges to tackle will be to foster more successful exits for startups in the region. Burda will be able to support its portfolio companies long-term as it’s not hankering for fast returns – and it may even provide some of those exits itself through acquisitions.
One of the key challenges will be to foster more successful exits for startups in the region.
Deal sizes will be flexible but the company is looking for an average of US$5 million per deal. So far, BPI’s investments in Southeast Asia haven’t focused on specific verticals. It’s still narrowing down the types of companies it’s looking for, but the firm will certainly focus more on the business-to-consumer segment, which is consistent with its investments elsewhere in the world.
“Burda has a good understanding of how to build brands that are more consumer-facing,” Albert explains.
When it comes to the aforementioned VC funds it’s invested in, Albert explains this was a good way for the company to test the waters and gain more knowledge about the region. In the future, the firm will likely focus more on direct investments, says Albert.