Avendus said that it will begin offering investment banking services from Singapore in order to capitalize on the anticipated technology sector dealmaking boom in Southeast Asia. According to Avendus managing director Karan Sharma, the Singapore operations will focus on advising technology sector investment rounds of $40-50 million in Southeast Asia. "The kind of massive growth we saw in India over the last 8-9 years is what we expect to see now in Southeast Asia, which has also grown significantly." "The demographic challenges and infrastructure challenges are similar," said Sharma, co-head of Avendus' Digital & Technology Investment Banking division in India.
Varun Gupta, Avendus India's managing director, will manage the Southeast Asia business and transfer to Singapore early next year, he added. Avendus, a US private equity firm sponsored by KKR, helps significant businesses on fundraising, including SoftBank-supported food delivery provider Swiggy and eyewear retailer Lenskart. According to a Reuters article citing an industry source familiar with Avendus' ambitions, expanding to Southeast Asia will enable the Indian financial services firm to utilize its links with investors like Accel and Lightspeed that have grown beyond India.
In India, the company employs approximately 150 bankers. According to Venture Intelligence data, Avendus was the top private equity advisor in India in 2022, advising on 37 deals worth $7 billion. Larger rivals such as Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs compete with the Indian financial services industry.
Southeast Asia is on the minds of investors looking for exposure to the rising market, owing to the region's strong economic growth and consolidation in key sectors. Companies like ride-hailing services Grab and GoTo have already reached multibillion-dollar values.
According to Avendus Capital, India will produce only four to five unicorns next year as digital startups continue to struggle to acquire capital from investors in a bleak venture funding environment.