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Invest Long And Prosper: Vulcan Opens First Office In Asia

Jackie Bennion, Deputy Editor, 22 August 2019

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The legacy of Paul Allen is about to be felt in Singapore as the famous venture firm opens its first office outside the US.

Vulcan Capital, the family office founded by late Microsoft co-founder and Star Trek fan (hence the organisation's name), Paul Allen, is opening in Singapore to back technology growth across Southeast Asia. The office will be managed by investment veterans Tommy Teo and Minjie Yu, "built from the ground up” and US$100 million will be injected initially into business ventures across the region.

The family office said yesterday that first tranche of capital makes it one of the “largest early stage platforms of its kind to be established in the region."

Allen launched the multi-billion-dollar investment arm of Vulcan Inc in 2003 to funnel investment returns from the VC business into global philanthropic causes. The Seattle-based company has a Palo Alto office in the heart of Silicon Valley but Singapore will be Vulcan’s first venture overseas.

"Most of our investments have been focused across North America and we're looking forward to deepening our relationships with entrepreneurs across Asia as well, beginning here in Singapore," Vulcan's CIO Chris Orndorff said.

Teo and Yu will specifically focus on seed, series A and series B investments, working with local investment teams and the firm's global network to source and support entrepreneurs and investments in the region.

Commenting on the move, Vulcan CEO Bill Hilf said the long term goal of the investment arm is to support communities around the world and help the planet through "philanthropy, scientific research and commercial ventures." It follows a commitment that the Microsoft co-creator made in 2010 when he pledged at least half of his fortune to philanthropic efforts. The publicity shy Allen died in October last year with an estimated net worth of $21.7 billion.

Vulcan Capital works across a number of industry sectors and asset classes, ranging from early-stage venture investments to public equity value investing, leveraged buyouts, acquisitions, and fixed income. It has made a raft of marquee public and private investment stakes over the years, including the likes of Uber, Amazon, Square and the Asian online giant Alibaba.

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