Crowe breaks $4 billion revenue barrier with Asia growth of 43 percent

13 February 2019

Crowe Global has banked a record $4.3 billion in revenues for 2018 with stunning year-on-year Asia Pacific growth of 43 percent.

Already the sixth largest accounting network in Asia – and the eighth internationally – Crowe Global has grown its regional Asia Pacific business by a massive 43 percent in 2018, helping the firm to achieve collective global record revenues of $4.3 billion – up 14 percent on the previous mark of $3.7 billion under the Crowe Horwath banner, with the firm rebranding to Crow Global toward the middle of last year.

While Singapore was noted as a strong growth market, the firm’s recent coup in China also played a part in the staggering regional growth, with the country’s second largest accounting firm Ruihua CPAs (at an estimated 10,000 employees) severing its joint RSM/Crowe partnership for an exclusive deal with Crowe. Further driving growth was the firm’s acquisition of Toyo in Japan from BDO – boosting overall revenues by some $40 million.

“The headline figures – in particular double-digit growth across the network – speak for themselves and should be celebrated,” said Crowe Global CEO David Mellor, the former PKF and KPMG partner who took over the top role in April last year. “We are immensely proud of the work we have done throughout 2018 in a rapidly-evolving marketplace and are already building on those successes as 2019 gets underway.”Crowe breaks $4 billion revenue barrier with Asia growth of 43 percentOther country markets noted for their impressive performance included Germany and the UK at growth of 17 and 18 percent, along with the US at 9 percent, while geographically North America and Europe rose by a respective 6 and 5 percent – with Hungary in the latter more than doubling its 2017 take and Crowe BGK Canada jumping by a third. “It is pleasing to see the numbers reinforce the positivity we see around the network on a daily basis,” said Mellor.

“The past year has been a period of significant change for Crowe and we have sought to position ourselves for continued future growth through investment in our people, as well as in processes and technology,” the CEO continued. “Importantly, the efforts of 2018 are helping us to foster deeper collaboration between and among member firms, building a global culture of innovation and efficiency, as well as growing multinational business.”

Just one of several mid-tier international accounting and advisory networks to rebrand last year – including Baker Tilly in December and HBL the month prior – Crowe continues to put pressure on the firm's competitors immediately above it on the revenue table, while fending off those just below, such as Nexia, which also broke the $4 billion barrier last year. Growth for RSM meanwhile, Crowe’s nearest upper competitor in revenue-terms, slipped last year against its main rivals – losing its sixth worldwide placing to Grant Thornton.


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

09 April 2019

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.”