Recommended for being ‘very much aware of industry practices on both the buy and sell sides‘, Allen & Gledhill LLP provides broad expertise and ‘a deep bench, including three partners focused on this sector’. Acting for companies and venture capital investors, the full-service firm has cross-border strength across the South East Asia region, with specialisms in financings, restructurings, SPACs and series A and Series B funding. Christian Chin spearheads the team and is ‘one of the leading individuals in the VC sector in Singapore, with a deep knowledge of negotiations and technical acumen’. Other key names in the area include Julian Ho, who ‘understands venture capital very well’ and Nicholas Soh, who ‘has exceptional technical skills and a deeply commercially focused approach to lawyering‘.
Start-up and venture capital – Local firms in Singapore
Allen & Gledhill LLP
Other key lawyers:
‘As a relatively young company, we value them for giving valuable insights, they know venture capital very well. They also gave a proper guide throughout the transaction.’
‘Julian Ho understands venture capital very well. He has very sharp thinking with excellent communication skills.’
‘This team is strong and has a deep bench, including three partners focused on this sector.’
‘Of the local firms, this is clearly the strongest team in terms of numbers and profile in the market, acting for all the major investors in the VC space.’
‘Christian Chin and Nicholas Soh I rate very highly. Christian is one of the leading individuals in the VC sector in Singapore, with a deep knowledge of negotiations and technical acumen. Nicholas has exceptional technical skills and a deeply commercially focused approach to lawyering.’
‘Nicholas Soh in particular was phenomenal in getting things done. His attention to detail and availability to answer queries helped in moving things along quickly.’
‘Very much aware of industry practices on both the buy and sell sides.’
‘Julian Ho is highly technical and reliable.’
- Advised Ivanhoe, a NYSE-listed special purpose acquisition company, on its business combination agreement with SES Holdings Pte. Ltd.
- Advised Smash Capital and Insight Partners on their US$690m investment in Coda Payments, a digital content monetisation platform based in Singapore.
- Advised Softbank Vision Fund 2, who co-led the Series D financing round of Advance AI which raised more than US$400m.
Representing start-up founders and investors across a range of legal field, Dentons Rodyk’s advice runs the gamut from assisting in the incorporation of entities, drafting and reviewing term sheets and investment agreements, to preparing employee share option plans and exits via IPO or trade sale. Co-leading the team are corporate governance and venture capital expert S Sivanesan; Sunil Rai, who acts for technology companies in corporate and fundraising transactions in Singapore and the region; and Valmiki Nair, whose experience includes advising venture capital funds, start-ups and companies on investment deals.
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 Think & Learn Private Limited 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 for $600m.
- 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 of approximately up to US$170m.
- Acting for NIUM, Southeast Asia’s hottest global enterprise payments platform, in its Series D fundraising round of over US$200m, making NIUM the first B2B payments unicorn from Southeast Asia.
WongPartnership LLP has ‘built up strong credentials over the past few years in the venture capital and start-up practice’, and is recommended as ‘the benchmark for VC transactions in the region having been involved in prominent VC deals all across the spectrum’. The firm’s broad experience in the start-up and venture capital space ranges from the setting up of employee incentive plans and preparation of data privacy policies to the raising of equity funding rounds and trade sales. The practice can also leverage the full-service capability of the firm when needed, acting for angel investors, venture capitalists, early stage start-ups and unicorn technology companies. Corporate and finance expert Sin Wei Ong co-leads the team with Kyle Lee, who has ‘extensive experience in a variety of M&A transaction types’. Also active in the area is senior associate Jolynn Lim, who is ‘dependable, very responsive and very committed’.
Other key lawyers:
Jolynn Lim; Mark Choy
‘The team sets the benchmark for VC transactions in the region having been involved in prominent VC deals all across the spectrum. Where their experience really shines is in later stage complex deals where having a pulse on market norms (both locally and internationally) allows deals to close with less friction.’
‘Kyle Lee is always accessible, responsive and across details of the matter (from complex to minutia). As a client you feel that you are in good hands with Kyle looking around the corners for you.’
‘The team has built up strong credentials over the past few years in the venture capital and start-up practice, and has advised on a good number of deals in the region.’
‘Kyle Lee has extensive experience in a variety of M&A transaction types, and built up the coverage in a short span of time. He collaborates widely, always approachable and willing to build strong relationships.’
‘The team is strong in giving commercial and practical advice. Their turnaround time was also good.’
‘Kyle Lee gave us practical advice as he is very in tune with the needs of start-ups and what is market practice.’
‘In a fundraising deal, it is not uncommon for the investor to use a good law firm to deliver an “investor-friendly” draft. Having WongPartnership LLP on our side helps us navigate the deal and take necessary measures to defend the company’s interest.’
‘Kyle Lee is very accommodating. He is also well versed in relation to start-up practices and deals. Jolynn Lim is the associate who leads the deal. She is dependable, very responsive and very committed.’
‘We were very impressed with the team at Wong P. They were extremely diligent, sharp, solutions oriented, and always came prepared to meetings with high energy, and a great attitude.’
‘The team knows the Indonesia market well and is able to provide solutions to clients. The team is responsive and provides high quality work.’
B Capital Group
Biofourmis Holdings Pte. Ltd.
Jungle Ventures Pte. Ltd.
Saison Capital Pte. Ltd.
Northstar Advisors Pte. Ltd.
Go-Ventures Investments Pte. Ltd.
Vulcan Capital Management
- Acted for Biofourmis, a virtual care and digital medicine company, in their US$300m Series D investment round led by General Atlantic.
- Acting for KKR & Co. in the acquisition by PropertyGuru of REA Group’s operating entities in Malaysia and Thailand.
- Acted as transaction counsel to a global investment firm and EDBI and as Singapore counsel to Paul McCartney’s MPL Ventures in their investment in the US$100m Series A funding round of Next Gen Foods, the creator of plant-based chicken alternative TiNDLE.
Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP
Combining ‘local knowledge with world class service‘, Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP’s multidisciplinary start-up practice provides experience in structuring, preparing and executing private equity and venture capital transactions spanning asset classes and jurisdictions. The firm represents investors and start-ups in the tech space, with broad expertise including the fields of blockchain, crypto, foodtech and MedTech. M&A specialist Sandy Foo co-leads the practice with Tracy Ang, whose ‘experience is unparalleled’. Another key name in the team is Brian Ng, who is recommended as a ‘very experienced partner in VC deals’.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team was very helpful. Always prepared to help us out even at midnight when matters are urgent.’
‘Tracy Ang’s experience is unparalleled and it shows in her quick thinking and very practical advice which she offers.’
‘Tracy Ang is very patient and understanding when we don’t understand certain concepts. She breaks things down so we can better advise our internal stakeholders. She gives extremely practical advice and lets us know what is market practice and acceptable.’
‘Local knowledge with world class service.’
‘Brian Ng, very experienced partner in VC deals.’
‘Combines being knowledgeable with being available at all times.’
‘Extremely hardworking, willing to take on a broad range of work and pull in the right expertise as needed.’
‘Trustworthy – they give sensible advice to protect the client consistently, and are able to articulate the risks and potential issues. Good at follow up – this is especially important for smaller companies like us.’
Stamped.io Pte Ltd
Pluang Technologies Pte Ltd.
Trusting Social Group
iCart Group Pte. Ltd.
Credit Saison Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd.
Pace Enterprise Holdings Pte. Ltd.
Rainforest Life Pte. Ltd.
Partners for Growth VI, L.P.
Quista Technology Pte. Ltd.
Next Gen Foods Pte. Ltd.
Founders of BLK J
Everblue Esports Ventures LLC
Economic Development Board
XM Studios Pte. Ltd.
SWAT Mobility Pte. Ltd.
- Advised Stamped.io, a Singapore-based SaaS platform enabling reviews and loyalty programmes on ecommerce platforms, on its sale of business and assets to WeCommerce Holdings, a Canadian listed company providing software and services to Shopify users, for up to US$110m.
- Acted for Pluang Technologies Pte Ltd in several rounds of its series financing.
- Advised Doctor Anywhere, a regional tech-led healthcare company, on its US$65.7m Series C fundraising round led by Asia Partners, with other investors including Novo Holdings, Philips and OSK-SBI Venture Partners and other existing investors.
Bird & Bird ATMD LLP
Corporate specialist Marcus Chow leads the Bird & Bird ATMD LLP practice and assists start-ups and investors in the region and beyond with their outbound and inbound investments. The firm provides ‘sound, practical and timely solutions’, as well as know-how in tech and regulation. As well as an experienced corporate practice, the firm provides a Korean desk, which boosts its cross-border capabilities in the region.
Other key lawyers:
Jolie Giouw; Sally Kim
‘Bird & Bird has been the best legal partner for years. Based on their expertise in start-up and venture capital, they take different stakeholders’ views into account and give practical legal advice in fundraising and M&A.’
‘Marcus Chow and Sally Kim have helped us navigate the complex fundraising deal structure during our fundraising and M&A process. They give advice from both short and long-term perspectives and help us minimise potential risks or operational bottlenecks that may arise. Their responses and deliveries are always very quick and we value this a lot.’
‘We have worked with a number of law firms previously and Bird & Bird stands out for their flexibility, response time, quality of advice and level of client service. They have been outstanding across the board – from associate to partner – in their ability to cope and deal with matters that required unexpected urgency.’
‘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. They were also mindful and appreciated the stage at which the company (a start-up) was and what ought to be more carefully considered at the material time.’
‘Marcus Chow and Jolie Giouw are consultative and paid special attention to the details. It was also 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
- Advice to PI Opportunities Fund, a fund of Premji Invest, in its investment in Brightchamps Edtech Pte. Ltd., and in its Series C investments in Finnov Pte. Ltd.
- Acted for 90 seconds and its founder shareholders in 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, a growth fund under Indonesian venture capital firm East Ventures, in relation to the Series A+ funding round for Singapore designer toy collectibles start-up Mighty Jaxx.
Shook Lin & Bok LLP
Shook Lin & Bok LLP provides ‘very strong local Singapore law expertise paired with solid understanding of law on a global basis’. The firm covers the spectrum of start-up work, with notable expertise in structuring acquisitions and financings of private and public companies, as well as advising on pre-IPO and secondary investments/divestments. David Chong spearheads the practice and has particular experience in the communications, media, technology, energy and natural resources sectors.
Other key lawyers:
‘Very hands on and commercial.’
‘Very strong local Singapore law expertise paired with solid understanding of law on a global basis. Strong response times paired with strong attention to detail.’
‘We have been privileged to work with Ying Ming Ho, Ying Yi Siow and many other talented lawyers in the organisation.’
- Acted as lead counsel for Advance Intelligence Group Limited (AIGL) in their latest Series D fundraising round.
- Acted as lead counsel for Zenyum Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based dental consumer brand, in its Series B fundraising round of approximately US$40m, led by LC Catterton, Sequoia India and other investors.
- Advised Pintu Investment One Pte Ltd on its Series A1 financing round, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Withers KhattarWong LLP
Representing investors, start-ups, emerging companies and venture capitals, Withers KhattarWong LLP has experience across the funding lifecycle. The firm has strengths in series A and series B funding, as well as venture debt, M&A and bridge financings. Technology transfers and university spin-outs are also notable areas of activity for the group. Joel Shen , the team head specialises in advising corporate and venture capital clients in cross-border investments, acquisitions, and joint ventures. Daniel Yong is a name to note; he is a specialist in investment funds and cross-border private equity and M&A transactions.
Other key lawyers:
Vickers Venture Partners
A consortium of Indonesian conglomerates led by Telkom Indonesia
Honest Financial Technologies International Private Limited
Wallex Technologies Pte Ltd
Ant Group (Alipay)
Greenwillow Capital Management
- Advised Vickers Venture Partners as lead investor in the US$95.1m Series B2 financing of biotech start-up RWDC Industries, alongside Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings, Swiss pension fund CPV/CAP Pensionkasse coop and Optimas Capital Limited’s Global Healthcare Fund.
- Acted for a consortium of Indonesian conglomerates led by Indonesian state-owned telecommunication operator Telkom Indonesia in its joint venture with Binance to establish and operate a cryptocurrency exchange in Indonesia named BinaLoka.
- Advised Southeast Asian neobank Honest on its US$40m Series A fundraising led by Insignia Ventures.
Quahe Woo & Palmer LLC
Experienced in transactional matters for start-ups and venture capital investments, Quahe Woo & Palmer LLC’s strengths include the key areas of crypto, Fintech, Medtech and EdTech, in which it acts on the buy- and sell-side of deals. M&A specialist Lau Kiat Wee co-leads the team with counsel Keith Oh, who focuses on corporate matters.
The Lo & Behold Group
Lummo (previously known as BuKukas)
- Advised Neuroglee Therapeutics on its US$10m Series A funding round led by Openspace Ventures and EDBI.
- Advised Temasek-backed Vertex Ventures as lead investor in a US$30m Series A extension financing into supply chain aggregator Aruna.
- Advised analytics platform for blockchain Nansen on its US$12m Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).