SG’s Venturi Partners closes debut consumer-focused fund at $175m Kristie Neo 26 April, 2022 Singapore-based Venturi Partners has fully closed its debut consumer- focused fund at $175 million, it announced on Tuesday. The fund is anchored by three cornerstone limited partners (LPs) – Peugeot Invest, Ackermans & Van Haaren, and Frederic De Mevius, founder of Verlinvest and a member of the family ownership of ABI. It has also secured funds from European and Asian family offices. Venturi’s fundraising exercise was conducted almost entirely during the COVID pandemic. It began capital raising efforts in January 2020 right at the onset of the coronavirus spread from China. “We did one trip to Europe and then everything shut down,” recounted Nicholas Cator, managing partner, Venturi Partners. “But we were lucky to have created a structure which creates an alignment of interest between our team and the families [family offices], which is building a long-term relationship. This also gives us the ability to do lots of co-investments into our portfolio,” said Cator in an interview with DealStreetAsia. “Altogether, we were able to keep a relatively small number of large families, because the idea for us is to have fewer investors but deeper and closer relationships with them. The average ticket size is actually large, around $5 million — quite significant for families,” he added. Venturi invests in growth opportunities in Series B-D stages, writing cheques of $10-40 million in exchange for about 5-10% equity ownership, with a high preference for a board seat. This will see the firm conduct about 8 deals from the fund, allowing it to take focused bets for its portfolio. The fund however does maintain a flexible arrangement for these cheques, allowing it to not just conduct follow-on rounds but heavily double-down through co-investments with its LPs on a 1:1 basis. This effectively gives Venturi the ability to deploy as much as $350 million on its portfolio, explained Cator. Venturi added that it has already deployed 30% of its funds in three investments to date, including Singapore-based interior design firm Livspace, and Muslim-focused personal and beauty care startup Believe. It focuses on startups from Southeast Asia and India, with an eye for areas such as social commerce, e-groceries, quick commerce, edtech and health tech. “We want something where a customer is going after a brand and the company takes a brand loyal product-driven approach. An effective online-offline strategy distribution is also important so the company’s touchpoints are much more effective in terms of campaign efforts. Both of these will really lead to a tangible differentiation,” said Rishika Chandan, executive director at Venturi Partners. Chandan further emphasised the importance of strong unit economics for its investments. Venturi assesses a variety of metrics including lifetime value to customer acquisition costs (CAC), net promoter scores (NPS), and other areas which show the company’s ability to retain customers. These firms should also ideally be about 18-24 months away from profitability. “We start connecting with potential founders early when they’re hitting around $10 million annual recurring revenue (ARR). This allows us to build a relationship with them as they grow. When we start getting comfortable writing cheques is when they’re around $15 million (ARR),” shared Chandan. Venturi has a holding period of about 5-7 years for its investments and expects its portfolio to seek exits via M&As or IPOs.