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Bain to acquire APAC arm of venture-building studio Rainmaking

Bryan Wu
Bryan Wu • 4 min read
Bain to acquire APAC arm of venture-building studio Rainmaking
Bain & Company CEO Manny Maceda. Photo: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore
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Management consultancy firm Bain & Company has announced its intention to acquire the Asia Pacific (APAC) arm of global venture-building studio Rainmaking, to “enhance and expand” its venture-building offerings across the region.

Announced in a joint media statement on July 7, the acquisition is expected to close at the end of the month, subject to and contingent upon several conditions precedent to completion.

Established in 2017, Rainmaking APAC is an independent venture development company focused on building and scaling businesses by leveraging the advantages and scale strengths of corporate partners and co-founders. It is a pioneer of the “equity-share model” in corporate venture building, which allows the company to take equity alongside its corporate partners, each acting as founding shareholders in the new businesses that are created.

Rainmaking APAC’s portfolio focuses on powering the growth of Series A+ startups, supporting them to scale and expand into new markets. The company has built ventures and scaled startups across key regional markets and in industries such as financial services, real estate and commercial property, agriculture, energy and natural resources and cleantech.

To date, the businesses Rainmaking APAC has built and scaled have generated over $880 million in funding and hold a combined equity value of more than $9 billion.

Through its proposed acquisition of Rainmaking APAC, which comprises 50 entrepreneurial talents across its dedicated offices in Singapore, Japan and South Korea, Bain intends to accelerate and expand its business-building offering Next, which is delivered by more than 200 entrepreneurs, strategists, designers, data scientists and engineers in the APAC region.

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“The region, especially Singapore, is a thriving innovation hub that has continued to attract talent and multinational companies to set up new businesses,” says Satish Shankar, Bain’s Asia Pacific regional managing partner.

“Building new engines of growth will continue to be a top priority for our clients. Our Next offering has delivered strong results in innovation and business-building for our clients, and our acquisition of Rainmaking APAC marks the next critical step in scaling our Innovation and Design (I&D) capabilities to create market-leading results for clients,” he adds.

Samuel Hall, CEO of Rainmaking APAC, says: “We are very excited to now continue our growth trajectory with Bain, who will supercharge our corporate connectivity and investment capability. With Bain as our backer, we will now be able to launch more studios and ventures, benefit from a greater volume of deeper partnerships with corporations and industry leaders and drive significantly greater opportunity and upside for the people that work with us, build with us, and launch new ventures with us."

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“Over a number of years, we have built one of the leading venture studios in Asia Pacific,” adds Hall. “Our distinct entrepreneurial culture and pioneering approach to equity co-investment and risk-sharing with our corporate partners have allowed us to stand out in the market.”

Both Bain and Rainmaking APAC were appointed to participate in the Corporate Venture Launchpad 2.0 programme, a $20 million initiative launched by Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB). Rainmaking is also a partner of Enterprise Singapore’s Global Innovation Alliance to help more Singapore-based start-ups and tech SMEs access market opportunities in international markets.

Florian Hoppe, Asia Pacific leader in Bain’s digital delivery platform Vector, says his vision is for the company to be the leading venture-building studio in Asia Pacific. “By joining forces with Rainmaking APAC, we can help clients validate, build and scale new businesses during a time when companies are forced to innovate, especially as we see disruptions through emerging technologies.”

Following completion of the deal, Rainmaking APAC will retain its brand and existing operating structure and will continue to work with its partners while operating independently as a branded service line within Bain’s I&D ecosystem.

Rainmaking will continue to own and operate its other businesses in global venture building and as a startup studio outside APAC.

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