XM Studios, an award-winning Singaporean producer of handcrafted, hand-painted luxury art collectibles, has gained an important new strategic investor in the form of Temasek subsidiary Heliconia Capital Management.

Heliconia Capital Management, an investment firm that focuses on growth-oriented companies, announced on Sept 2, that it has entered into an agreement to become a strategic investor of XM Holdco, which owns 100% of XM Studios.

XM Studios is considered to be a homegrown Singapore success story that sells collectibles in US, Europe, China and Southeast Asia. The company holds strong IP licenses from recognisable brands in pop culture including Marvel, Star Wars, DC, as well as Godzilla, Ultraman and Hello Kitty.

The company, with an increasing number of licenses obtained, is well-positioned to capitalise on the growing demand on the global luxury art collectibles scene.

Heliconia Capital says its investment experience in other direct-to-consumer (DTC) and sports entertainment companies such as Razer, One Championship, Cariuma and SecretLab will be valuable to the company.

The investment firm will work closely with XM Studios’ founder and his team to strengthen XM Studios’ position in the global markets.

The firm also seeks to help XM Studios achieve unicorn status.

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Under the agreement, Heliconia Capital will support XM Studios to leverage on digital technology and creativity for new product development, branding, marketing and channel distribution.

Heliconia also plans to tap on Temasek’s extensive global network in e-commerce, advanced manufacturing, AR/VR and consumer lifestyle space to support XM Studios.

“For years, the affluent consumers in Europe, America, China and India have been spending huge amount on luxury items like fine arts, antiques, jewelleries, watches, wine, cars and others regularly. In the new digital age and pop culture world, a new product segment has emerged. Wallet size has expanded and shifted to this new category quite significantly over the years,” says Derek Lau, CEO of Heliconia Capital.

“XM Studios has successfully enabled global IP owners to capture this market. In the process, it has built its own global fan base and solid XM brand. We believe the company is ready to extend its competitive advantage to other IP verticals such as sports, entertainment and other consumer product categories. In addition, the potential demand from the mass affordable as well as digital assets segment will be extremely huge. This is a proud moment for a Singapore company. It is a privilege for Heliconia to share this journey with Ben and his team,” he adds.

Ben Ang, the founder of XM Studios, says that he and the team are “are excited to welcome Heliconia Capital as a strategic partner to support the next stage in our company’s journey”.

“We have seen our overall sales revenue doubled during the pandemic, reflecting how demand for luxury art collectibles has surged, and foresee significant opportunities as licensors continue to put out more content and markets open up. Building on our existing business in the US, Europe and Asia, we look forward to benefiting from Heliconia’s support to tap new markets with significant potential such as India and the Middle East,” he adds.

Photo: The Edge Singapore