The American banking boutique Raine is expanding into Southeast Asia and betting on media and technology.

“It’s the last major market in the world where you can see a free for all between Alibaba, Tencent, Bytedance on the one hand, and companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Netflix on the other,” said Joe Ravitch, co-founder and partner of Raine.

Ravitch, a former Goldman Sachs banker for 16 years before co-founding Raine in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, expects cross-border transactions to increase in the region, home to around 650 million people.

“The scarcity of capital at a time of volatility, rising interest rates and inflation, will create investment opportunities and require companies to be more strategic,” Ravitch told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines. the Forbes Global CEO Conference.

Ravitch oversaw the sale of Premier League football club Chelsea in May.

Global media, entertainment and gaming giants are strengthening their presence in the rapidly growing economies of Southeast Asia.

Tencent bought Malaysian video streaming platform Iflix in 2020 and companies like Netflix, Amazon Prime and TikTok are boosting their presence and local content.

Raine is looking to add five to seven Singapore bankers within the next two years, said Deborah Yupin Mei, who heads Raine’s business in Asia and recently moved from Shanghai to Singapore.

Raine specializes in media, sports and technology related transactions and also oversees $4 billion in growth and venture capital. She advised Grab, Southeast Asia’s largest ride-sharing company, on its purchase of Uber’s regional business in 2018.

Reuters reported last week that Raine had recruited Jonathan Pflug, head of Southeast Asia mergers and acquisitions at Morgan Stanley, to lead its regional coverage.

Mei said the trend of Chinese entrepreneurs setting up Singapore as a beachhead for Southeast Asia was likely to bring in capital and new business opportunities in sectors such as digital media and gaming.

“It’s another generation coming, and it remains to be seen whether they will bring models they have tested in this part of the world or whether they will launch something new,” she said.

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