Known for advising innovative start-ups and emerging companies across their lifecycle, Cooley LLP particularly stands out in the technology and life sciences sectors. Another core area of work for the firm is assisting venture capital investors and growth equity firms investing in start-ups and emerging companies throughout the region. Corporate specialist Ferish Patel co-leads the team with Matthew Bartus, whose broad experience includes advising start-ups across the Asia-Pacific region on seed, early-stage and late-stage VC financing rounds.
Start-up and venture capital – Foreign firms in Singapore
Other key lawyers:
‘Fantastic team and a lot of attention to detail – especially understanding the complexities of the business and shareholders.’
‘Matt Bartus and Michael Marietta – two fantastic members of the team without which we would not be able to do what we have done.’
‘I really appreciate that Cooley’s team has been about building a long term relationship with the client and not focused solely on billable hours. We get a holistic approach from Cooley and very timely advice. We have a small in house department and Cooley recently ran six major work streams for us simultaneously.’
‘I have worked with Ferish Patel as a central partner and he has gone above and beyond to make sure I get to the right people at Cooley for whatever needs we have. Each individual lawyer really works together so that it seems seamless to the client.’
Achilles Systems Pte. Ltd. (OnlinePajak)
Alerzo Pte. Ltd.
Nas Education Pte. Ltd.
Next Gen Foods
Riverwood Capital – Nium
- Advised eFishery, an Indonesian agtech start-up company, on its US$90m Series C Financing round, which marks the largest fundraise by an aquaculture technology start-up in the world.
- Advised WeLab on its fundraising to acquire Bank Jasa Jakarta, a commercial bank in Indonesia.
- Advised Endowus, a digital wealth platform and adviser, on its SG$23m Series A Financing round, one of the largest amounts raised in Series A Funding for a Singapore-based fintech firm and the company’s first external fundraise.
With experience advising across the life-cycle of companies, Dentons Rodyk’s clients include founders, entrepreneurs, start-ups, accelerators and incubators, as well as venture capital funds and private equity investors. The firm is particularly active assisting venture-backed entities with a presence in Singapore and across the region at all stages of investments. S Sivanesan has broad domestic and cross-border expertise, handling start-up related work in Singapore, Southeast Asia, India, China, Japan, Europe, Australia and the US. He co-leads the practice with Sunil Rai, who focuses on corporate advisory, M&A, share and asset transactions, and joint ventures; and Valmiki Nair, who boasts a multidisciplinary track record in the start-up space, including venture capital, venture technology, M&A and private equity matters.
Onstar Express Pte. Ltd.
Ohmyhome Pte Ltd
Think & Learn Private Limited
GrocerApp International Pte. Ltd.
Rokt Pte Ltd
Tigerhall Pte Ltd
SeaTown Private Capital Master Fund, Pavilion Capital Fund Holdings Pte. Ltd. and EDB Investments Pte Ltd
Olive Tree Capital
TiffinLabs Group Pte. Ltd. (“Tiffinlabs”)
Qanvast Pte. Ltd. (“Qanvast”)
- Advised on the Singapore law aspects of the transaction where India’s digital learning pioneer Byju’s acquired professional training and higher education platform Great Learning.
- Acted as Singapore legal advisers to Onstar Express Pte. Ltd. in their Series B equity fundraising exercise and secondary sales involving an aggregate investment consideration.
- Acting for NIUM in its Series D fundraising round of over US$200m, making NIUM the first B2B payments unicorn from Southeast Asia.
Gunderson Dettmer LLP
Combining ‘knowledge of the local Southeast Asian venture landscape with Silicon Valley-like sensibilities and market standards‘, Gunderson Dettmer LLP focuses on emerging growth companies and their investors and provides ‘decades of experience on both sides of venture deals’. The firm has a substantial track record representing venture-backed companies throughout their lifecycle, from launch to IPO and beyond. Spearheading the team is Jonathan Pentzien, who advises across the space and handles large financing rounds and M&A transactions in India and Southeast Asia. Another key name in the area is David He, whose expertise includes cross-border equity and debt financings, M&A, corporate restructurings and corporate governance.
Other key lawyers:
David He; Benjamin Teo; Binh Vong; Jolyn Ang
‘Partners and team members are dedicated to their clients. They have decades of experience on both sides of venture deals.’
‘David He is exceptional. Available almost 24 hours a day to answer questions.’
‘Gunderson’s team is strong technically and delivers consistently. We engage them for complex deals and recommend our founders to engage them for high value or complex funding rounds.’
‘They have the best team to support founders’ rights in SEA.’
‘Great team, knowledgeable, proactive and super turn around time.’
‘Personal interaction with Jonathan Pentzien, Benjamin Teo and Binh Vong was great, they always made themselves available for calls and met deadlines on time/before time.’
‘Gunderson combines knowledge of the local Southeast Asian venture landscape with Silicon Valley-like sensibilities and market standards.’
‘Jolyn Ang is amazing. She’s destined to become one of the top corporate/venture lawyers in the region.’
‘David He has been outstanding. His ability to distil complex concepts into easy-to-digest bites has given us the right point of view to take action.’
Lightspeed Venture Partners/Lightspeed India Partners/Lightspeed Opportunity Fund (China)
Monk’s Hill Ventures
Insignia Ventures Partners
Ayo Technology (Ayoconnect)
FAST Logistics Group
Dalio – newAGE S.A.
Orchard Healthcare Inc.
- Represented Prosus Ventures, a venture capital firm investing in internet and technology companies, on its investment in the US$500m Series F financing of API Holdings.
- Represented Asia Partners as it led the US$200m Series D2 financing of Carsome.
- Represented Yellow.ai, the world’s first conversational TX automation platform, in its US$78 million Series C.
Allen & Overy
Specialising in the technology field, Allen & Overy provides a full service to start-up clients, including the core disciplines of M&A, joint ventures and private equity transactions across the ASEAN region. Key names in the area include James Mythen, Shuhui Kwok and Brendan Hannigan.
Other key lawyers:
James Mythen; Shuhui Kwok; Brendan Hannigan
Ninja Logistics Pte. Ltd.
Go-Ventures Investments Pte. Ltd.
Standard Chartered Bank
- Advised SIG Venture Capital and EDBI on their investment in Voyager Innovations.
- Advised Tokopedia on its transformational combination with Gojek.
- Advised General Atlantic on its Series C fundraising investment into Kumu.
Bird & Bird ATMD LLP
Specialising in multijurisdictional work, Bird & Bird ATMD LLP ‘stands out for its flexibility, response time, quality of advice and level of client service’. The firm’s sweet spot lies in areas where technology and regulation intersect, which it combines with a growing corporate practice and Korean desk. Practice head Marcus Chow is sought out for his expertise in M&A, private equity, venture capital, equity capital markets and regulatory compliance. Counsel Jolie Giouw is also recommended by clients.
Other key lawyers:
Jolie Giouw; Jeremy Tan; Sandra Seah
‘We have worked with a number of other law firms previously, and Bird & Bird stands out for its flexibility, response time, quality of advice and level of client service.’
‘It has been outstanding in its ability to cope and deal with matters that required unexpected urgency. We are more than happy to recommend the capabilities, quality, standard and services of the team.’
‘Marcus Chow and Jolie Giouw have been an invaluable resource to our firm as we navigate complex legal matters. They have provided clean, sound, practical and timely solutions, and we would highly recommend them to anyone!’
‘The team understood the circumstances and our goals and objective well.’
‘They were attentive to the nuances of the deal and we were able to rely on their advice to make better decisions.’
‘Marcus and Jolie are consultative and paid special attention to the details. It was especially encouraging when they would ask questions that showed that they wanted to gain a better understanding of our goals and positions in the deal.’
‘It was comfortable working with them as they were empathetic to perspectives of the various stakeholders.’
90 Seconds Pte. Ltd
Altair ASEAN Fund L.P
Legend Logistics Limited
Velocity Ventures Pte. Ltd.
SariSuki Pte Ltd
ST Engineering Ventures
ACA Investments Pte. Ltd
AIZEN Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd
MassMutual Ventures SEA Management Pte. Ltd
OSK Technology Ventures Sdn Bhd
PI Opportunities Fund
KludeIn I Acquisition Corp
- Provided Singapore law advice to PI Opportunities Fund and on its Series C investments in Finnov Pte. Ltd.
- Acted for 90 seconds and its founder shareholders on the sale of 100% of the shares in 90 seconds to Australia-based Murri Holdings Limited.
- Advised as Singapore counsel to the lead investor EV Growth in relation to the Series A+ funding round for Singapore designer toy collectibles start-up Mighty Jaxx.
The multidisciplinary team of Linklaters leverages the firm’s strengths in corporate, financial regulation, employment and TMT practices to advise across the spectrum of start-up and venture capital matters. With a strong tech focus, the group provides particular expertise in investment in the tech and digital infrastructure industry. Spearheading the practice is Niranjan Arasaratnam, whose experience covers all the corporate, commercial and regulatory aspects of digitisation, tech and telecoms M&A and joint venture.
Other key lawyers:
Gary Beh; Robert Elliot
Lovebonito Holdings Pte Ltd
AWAK Technologies Pte Ltd
ByteDance / Tik Tok
Affinity Equity Partners
Qatar Investment Authority
SeaTown Holdings Pte Ltd
- Advised Singapore fashion brand Love, Bonito, on its US$50m Series C fundraising exercise.
- Advised the QIA on its US$100m investment in Insider SG Pte. Ltd. as part of Insider’s Series D fundraising round.
- Advised UBS as the first regulated financial institution to make an investment in EndowUs, one of Singapore’s leading robo-advisors.
Pinsent Masons MPillay
Advising start-ups and venture capital companies across the spectrum of development, from formation and financing to listings, Pinsent Masons MPillay has a notable focus on assisting young companies in the fintech and medtech sectors. Nicholas Hanna’s fortes are fundraising, structuring and negotiating terms with VCs and funds. He co-leads the practice with corporate expert Mark Tan and Alexander Shepherd, who advises on tech and IT procurement and regulated outsourcings for financial institutions, investment funds and insurance companies.
Float Foods Pte. Ltd.
CloudSEK Research Pte. Ltd.
Eezee Pte. Ltd.
- Advised Float Foods Pte Ltd in relation to its oversubscribed S$2.2m seed funding round, led by DSG Consumer Partners and Insignia Ventures.
- Advised CloudSEK Research Pte Ltd in relation to its US$7m Series A fundraising round, which was led by lead investor MassMutual Ventures.
- Advised Eezee Pte Ltd in relation to its Pre-Series A fundraising round for an undisclosed amount.
Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow
Recommended for its ‘strengths in emerging areas of fintech and assisting clients in navigating the regulatory landscape‘, Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow provides expertise in a range of corporate transactions on behalf of start-ups and investors. A particular forte for the firm is multijurisdictional work, with notable activity in the fintech space. Stephanie Magnus is known for assisting start-ups and emerging companies in the financial services sector. She co-leads the team with Kelvin Poa, who focuses on investment fund matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘Strengths in emerging areas of fintech and assisting clients in navigating the regulatory landscape especially in digital assets.’
‘Stephanie Magnus and Liew Ying Yi both have a strong pulse on the regulatory landscape, which puts them in good stance for highlighting key risks and guiding client discussions with sharp recommendations.’
Asia Wealth Platform Pte Ltd
TTMFS Singapore Pte Ltd
Zinfinity Pte. Ltd.
Goldbell Financial Services; Goldbell Evolution Network (GEN) Pte Ltd.
- Advised Asia Wealth Platform on its successful application to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for a fund management licence to run a digital wealth management platform.
- Advised Credit Suisse (Singapore) Ltd., DBS Bank Ltd. and Morgan Stanley Asia (Singapore) Pte. in the listing of Vertex Technology Acquisition Corp (VTAC).
- Advised Singapore-based technology-sector start-up Thunes in relation to a Series B+ US$60m investment it secured.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Working with investors, businesses and founders across the life cycle of start-up, business expansion and liquidity, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides a full service for emerging companies and investors in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Expertise includes the key areas of corporate financing, employment, technology and regulation. Specialising in technology, media and telecoms, Mark Robinson co-leads the team with counsel Victor Chiew and Cellia Cognard, who focus on corporate transactional work and M&A respectively.
Goldman Sachs Asset Management
Standard Chartered Ventures
Latham & Watkins LLP
Representing start-ups, emerging companies and investors, Latham & Watkins LLP’s experience runs the gamut from smaller Series A financings to large transactions for lenders and companies. Specialisms include cross-border M&A, crypto payments, data and technology advice. Corporate head Ji Liu leads the team which was boosted by the 2021 arrival from Shearman & Sterling LLP of James Clayton-Payne, who brings strength in tech, crypto and e-commerce start-up work.
Tybourne Capital Management
Affinity Equity Partners
Voyager Innovations, Inc.
Ruangguru Pte. Ltd.
Ossa Investments Pte. Ltd.
Bacha Coffee Pte. Ltd.
Mogli Labs Private Limited
Bifrost Pte. Ltd.
Keppel Data Centres
TiKi Global Pte. Ltd
CMS advises emerging companies, start-ups and venture capital in a range of fundraising and M&A work, as well as exits and disposals. The firm provides sector specialisms in TMT, healthcare, life sciences, food and beverage, AgriFoodTech, financial services and digital assets. Energy and TMT transactions expert Toby Grainger co-leads the practice with Babita Ambekar, who focuses on cross-border M&A, capital raising, new market entry, joint ventures and restructurings.
Ecommerce Enablers Pte Ltd (Shopback)
NCS Pte Ltd
Bar Raiser Private Limited
Mighty Bear Games
Better Urban Farms
Alesca Life Technologies
- Advised as lead counsel to Ecommerce Enablers Pte Ltd (Shopback) on its Series E fundraising round led by Singapore state investment firm Temasek.
- Advised Gupshup Inc, a global leader in conversational engagement, on its acquisitions of Active.Ai and AskSid.
- Advised AgFunder Asia, AgFunder’s VC fund that is focused on AgriFoodTech investments across the Asia Pacific region, on various investment-related matters.
Sidley Austin LLP
Parthiv Rishi leads the Sidley Austin LLP practice and focuses on acting for financial sponsor investors and emerging companies, covering all stages of the tech investment cycle, from seed rounds, to late-stage investments and exits. The team can draw from global strength within the firm in venture and growth capital, private equity and capital markets, with notable footprints in London, Shanghai, Hong Kong and the US.
KKR Next Generation Technology/ Growth
Lightspeed Venture Partners
- Represented KKR as lead investor in the US$180m Series F financing round of Livspace.
- Advised Dream Sports on their US$400m and US$840m secondary investments.
- Acted for NinjaVan on its Series E fundraising round, which was led by Alibaba Group and Geopost/DPDgroup.