Dymon taps regional SMEs


THE poster sitting aptly in Dymon Asia Private Equity’s (DAPE) boardroom brightly reads Shine Bright Like A Dymon, taking a leaf from Rihanna’s award winning hit Diamonds with its evocative and hypnotic line “Shine bright like a diamond”.

Diamonds went on to be nominated 13 different times and won several awards, including Top R&B Song for 2013. Unlike Rihanna’s previous hits, Diamonds sounded softer, with a more moderate tempo and laidback vibe – yet the formula worked, and critics felt Rihanna had made a breakthrough.

The beaming tagline isn’t exactly over the top in describing DAPE, not when DAPE Fund I achieved a net internal rate of return (IRR) of 30% from its 2012 inception to December 2017. DAPE Fund I, a S$300mil fund, was able to exit three of its 12 investments thus far, with the distributions from these three exits returninng the entire capital they have drawn from investors.

Following the encouraging success of Fund I, Dymon Asia announced earlier this week the final close of Dymon Asia Private Equity Fund II (DAPE II), a US$450mil fund focusing on small and medium enterprises in South-East Asia.

Demand from existing and new investors was strong, and the fund was oversubscribed and closed at its hard cap of US$450mil within several months of its launch in the fourth quarter of 2017.

“We are excited to be able to continue with our strategy to invest in small and medium sized companies in South-East Asia, where we believe there are many uncut diamonds”, says Keith Tan, one of DAPE’s three partners.


He adds: “Our partnerships with entrepreneurs and management teams have been very successful so far. We’re delighted that our investors and partners have done well with us. We’re also proud to have found world-class strategic buyers for our companies, who will be strong partners in their journeys ahead.”

DAPE has grown from a small team in Singapore when it first started, to having regional offices in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.

“We believe in an engaged and committed approach, where we only invest if it is clear that we have specific execution roles in our investment thesis and can make a meaningful difference to our companies,” says DAPE’s other partner Tan Chow Yin.

“We discuss our involvement well before we invest so that we are all aligned on our joint goals, and our partners are clear on our roles in their transformation. Our ability to add value is the key reason for management teams and entrepreneurs to partner us. Of the 12 companies we invested in, seven have more cash than debt, indicating they were looking for more than capital alone.”

Chow Yin adds that the DAPE team has worked directly on technology implementation projects, succession planning and management incentivisation, mergers and acquisitions for industry consolidation, regional expansion, brand building and company restructuring initiatives.