L.E.K. launches life sciences centre of excellence in Singapore

21 November 2018 Consultancy.asia

Global management firm L.E.K. Consulting has launched a dedicated Life Sciences centre of excellence in Singapore – the first of its kind in the Asia Pacific from a consultancy player.

Established in partnership with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), L.E.K. Consulting’s new locally-based Life Sciences Centre of Excellence (CoE) will draw on the management consulting firm’s global expertise to drive innovation and thought leadership in the Singapore and Asia Pacific’s life sciences and healthcare sectors – said to be the first such dedicated centre in the region.

L.E.K., which has close to 20 offices and 1,200 professionals spread across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific, including Asian branches in Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing and Singapore, will through its new CoE provide deep sector insights for the APAC life sciences industry by way of applying global best practices, benchmarking, research and analysis, modelling, and strategy development.

“A rapidly-evolving healthcare environment, breakthrough scientific innovation, digital advancements, increasing global access and new business models are reshaping the life sciences space,” said L.E.K. partner and the new CoE’s executive director Fabio La Mola. “These trends are forcing the life sciences industry to rethink their strategies. Through this new Centre of Excellence, L.E.K. is committed to helping the life sciences industry navigate these challenges, as well as the fast-growing yet diverse APAC landscape, successfully.”

L.E.K. launches life sciences centre of excellence in Singapore

As part of its broader Healthcare Insights Centre, the firm’s Life Sciences CoE will leverage not only L.E.K.’s internal expertise but the strong research ecosystem in Singapore (such as through collaborations with local universities and industry associations), aiming to produce materials on a wide range of life sciences subjects – from the future of drug discovery and development to digitisation in the healthcare sector – and within disciplines such as epidemiology, biology, and genetics among others.

“The centre will be a valuable addition to our business-research ecosystem,” said EDB Hub Services Director Clarence Chua, “and is an example of how global professional services firms can tap onto Singapore’s industry expertise and talent base as they grow their capabilities. L.E.K.’s decision to establish its first APAC Centre of Excellence in Singapore reflects the growing regional demand for specialised advice for key growth sectors such as life sciences.”

Tech and innovation hub

As the Singapore government and EDB makes a continued, concerted effort to transform Singapore into one of the world’s premiere research, tech and professional services hubs, more and more of the globe’s biggest names in consulting are selecting the city as a base for innovation. In just the past few months alone, Synechron has launched a local state-of the art fintech accelerator, the Big Four firms EY and Deloitte have established, respectively, a digital innovation hub and a future of mobility innovation centre, and research firm Kantar has set up an advanced local data analytics lab.

As to L.E.K.’s new CoE, the firm notes that it will operate under the guidance of an external board of advisors made up of industry leaders and members of academia and the government, including chief executives and board leaders from ASLAN Pharmaceuticals, Baxter, Janssen, Medtronic, MSD, Galen Growth Asia, and Takeda.

Earlier this year, L.E.K bolstered its local life sciences division with the appointment of industry veteran Dilpreet Singh as Principal.

Asia-based BCG-backed tech fund B Capital raises a further $400 million

09 April 2019 Consultancy.asia

The BCG-backed B Capital Group has raised over $400 million in the first close of its second fund. Based in Singapore, B Capital has now raised $766 million across two funds.

Established by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin and ex-BCG Senior Advisor Jav Ganguly in 2016 – and backed by Boston Consulting Group from the outset – the Singapore-based venture capital firm B Capital has according to a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing secured $406.1 million in commitments at the first close of its second fund – adding to $360 million raised last year for its first fund.

Launched toward the end of March, the second B Capital Fund has so far attracted 62 investors, and although a final close date or target hasn’t been disclosed, an unnamed source told Forbes that the VC firm is looking to double the size of its first fund. Meanwhile, B Capital has already built up a portfolio of 19 start-ups, with a focus on technology in the healthcare, financial services, industrial logistics and consumer enablement segments, and a particular eye to the Southeast Asia and India markets.

“We continue to strive to be a launch pad for entrepreneurs across a wide range of verticals and seek to provide our portfolio companies with the necessary resources and access to some of the most important business leaders,” said Saverin, who moved to Singapore in 2009. “We are committed to helping the next generation of entrepreneurs deliver transformative technology to the world and are strategically positioned to disrupt the realm of venture investing.”Asia-based BCG-backed tech fund B Capital raises a further $400 million Anchored by BCG, and partnering with BCG’s Digital Venture’s incubation arm, B Capital styles itself as a bridge between the innovative tech start-up realm and leading global corporate incumbents – bolstered by BCG’s deep client network (some 1,800 globally according to the consulting firm) and domain expertise in the investment fund’s areas of focus. Further, B Capital and BCG work together to uncover the most promising areas of investment.

“We partnered with the Boston Consulting Group because of their unique insights into the industries that we invest in and their unparalleled access to the world’s leading corporations,” said B Capital’s Ganguly, who in addition to spending the past six years with BCG served as a senior vice president at Bain Capital during the prior six. Earlier, Ganguly spent three years as a senior manager at MBB rival McKinsey & Company.

“It is inspiring to be backed by investors who recognise that our combined extensive experience as entrepreneurs and business creators provides a unique and valuable perspective as to how we support and provide capital to our portfolio companies,” adds Ganguly. “Our first-hand experience building and scaling enduring businesses has allowed us to bridge an important gap connecting entrepreneurs in need of resources to scale their businesses with corporations seeking to innovate and leverage emerging technologies.”

With B Capital said to be aiming to invest $20 million in each portfolio company, including reserves for future growth funding, Southeast Asian and Indian investments to date include Singapore short-term financing match-making platform Capital Match, ASEAN last-mile logistics provider Ninja Van, Carro – a Singapore-based vehicle sales and subscription service, and India’s Mswipe, a mobile point-of-sales solution.

“Whether it is funding availability, stage, talent, institutions, or exits, the presence of such whitespaces in the ecosystem makes it equally challenging and rewarding for investors,” Saverin and Ganguly wrote of the gaps in the Southeast Asian and Indian investment space in a founding post on LinkedIn. “We are very excited and bullish in the long run because we see the opportunity to bridge that gap and make a positive impact in a community of two billion people.”