RF Fund Management, a subsidiary of financial group RF International, is setting up its inaugural US$50 million private equity fund under the new variable capital companies (VCC) framework.
This follows the Monetary Authority of Singapore's (MAS) approval on Feb 3 of its application to commence business as a registered fund management company.
The Singapore-based company on Tuesday said its upcoming fund will have a "strong focus on the digital economy".
Among the investees identified are five fintech companies in Singapore, two real estate tech firms in Japan and Indonesia, an automotive tech firm in China as well as an education tech company in Vietnam, Eric Neo, non-executive director of RF Fund Management and group chief executive of RF International, told The Business Times.
The investments will leverage RF International's direct market access and expertise in North Asia, Singapore and other South-east Asian nations, he added.
"We are involved in each stage of growth. From new acquisitions to market penetration… to advocacy and higher price realisation, our ecosystem enables select SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises) and startups to get their ideas off the ground," Mr Neo said.
RF Fund Management also plans to adopt blockchain technologies - such as distributed ledger technology and smart contracts - within its fund management operations.
Its parent company, RF International, is an early investor in ICHX Tech, which operates MAS-regulated capital markets platform iSTOX. RF International invested US$3 million in ICHX in April 2019, becoming its third external shareholder, after the Singapore Exchange and Temasek’s Heliconia Capital.
Singapore-headquartered RF International's services include investment management, digital assets, private equity, capital markets, credit, real estate and special situations.
The VCC structure, launched in January this year, has been hailed as a game changer for Singapore's fund management industry. It is a flexible corporate entity targeted at a wide range of investment funds. A VCC can be open-ended or closed-end, and used by both traditional and alternative fund managers.