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EvolutionX Debt Capital Announces Maiden Investment in API Holdings (India’s Largest Digital Healthcare Platform)

SINGAPORE, 07 November 2022 – Growth stage debt financing platform, EvolutionX Debt Capital (“EvolutionX”), founded by DBS and Temasek, has committed its maiden investment in API Holdings which owns the “PharmEasy” brand and powers the PharmEasy marketplace in India. API Holdings is India’s largest digital healthcare platform with over 6 million transacting users, 150,000+ active pharmacies, 1,800+ hospitals and 21m+ tests annually providing an integrated end-to-end business solving the healthcare needs of consumers through technology and fulfilment capabilities. It works closely with and builds services for consumers, pharmaceutical companies, wholesalers, pharmacies, hospitals, doctors and clinics, and diagnostic labs through a connected ecosystem with a nationwide presence.

Launched in late-2021, EvolutionX seeks to provide an alternative source of debt financing to enable growth stage technology companies to scale faster and expand into new markets, by leveraging Temasek’s investment expertise and DBS’ global banking networks. With funding requirements for Asian start-ups continuing to grow rapidly since 2021, founders are focused not only on raising alternative capital, but are also increasingly mandated by their boards to focus on unit economics and pathways to profitability. Apart from helping founder entrepreneurs and investors minimise dilution of their shareholding, growth debt also bridges and extends cash runway till the next financing round or exit event.

“We are delighted to establish relationship with EvolutionX which is backed by best-in-class capital pools of Temasek and DBS. This is part of a sequence of planned capital raises, to be followed by equity infusion in the company in the near-term. This collective capital raise will optimise the capital structure as well as improve the net debt position and financial strength of the company, ensuring a clear runway to profitability. EvolutionX has an outstanding team and we look forward to working with Rahul and his team as long term partners during our growth journey”, says Siddharth Shah, Co-Founder and CEO, API Holdings.

Rahul Shah, Partner and Co-Head leading investments across India and Southeast Asia for EvolutionX, said, “As capital markets continue to be muted and access to private capital narrows for tech start-ups, founders and their shareholders are increasingly seeking less dilutive forms of capital to extend their cash runway and avoid raising equity capital at lower valuations.  EvolutionX’s philosophy centres on investing in category-leading technology companies led by promising founders and backed by reputed investors. We are thus excited to partner with Siddharth, where the continued journey of PharmEasy to build India’s largest digital healthcare platform aligns strongly with our goals to accelerate the digitisation of Asia’s economy.”

Appointment of Key Partners in Asia

EvolutionX has also appointed two key partners to drive its investment strategy across Asia. Rahul Shah has been appointed as a Partner and Co-Head leading investments across India and Southeast Asia, meanwhile Calvin Cheng will be a Partner and Co-Head leading investments across China. Both are members of the Investment Committee at EvolutionX and are based in Singapore.

Rahul has two decades of experience across origination, structuring, and negotiation of debt and structured credit investments in India and South Asia. He joins EvolutionX from British International Investment (formerly known as CDC Group), where he was the Head of Corporate Debt investments for South Asia and also led debt investments to financial services companies. Prior to this, he worked at Standard Chartered Bank, J.P. Morgan, and Edelweiss, where he focused on structured credit and mezzanine debt investments across multiple sectors in India.

Calvin has 25 years of experience in venture growth debt, venture capital, investment banking, and corporate banking in the United States and China. He joins EvolutionX from East West Bank (China), where he was Managing Director and Head of Technology and Growth Banking Group, financing private equity and venture capital-backed companies in the Greater China Region. Prior to East West Bank (China), Calvin worked at East West Bank (Silicon Valley), Comerica Bank, Citibank, and Silicon Valley Bank where he focused on providing venture growth and leverage buyout financing to companies across technology, healthcare and life science, and internet/social media industries in the US.

With strong market acumen and investment experience under their belts, the appointments of Rahul and Calvin will bolster EvolutionX’s investment team as it continues nurturing and financing the growth of Asia’s future unicorns. With venture capital funding slowing down considerably in 2022 and subdued capital markets, there is an increasing need for alternative sources of capital providers like EvolutionX and other venture debt players. This provides an attractive window of opportunity for EvolutionX to seek superior risk-adjusted returns as well as further catalyse the fast-growing tech ecosystem in the region.

EvolutionX Investment Committee and Board Members, Amit Sinha, Managing Director, Group Head of Telecoms, Media and Technology, Institutional Banking Group at DBS, and Aftab Mathur, Director, Investment (Innovation) at Temasek, said, “We are pleased to welcome Rahul and Calvin to EvolutionX at such a pivotal and exciting time for the platform. Amidst a challenging fundraising landscape, EvolutionX offers growth stage start-ups in India, China and Southeast Asia a meaningful alternative source of capital. We have been actively assessing opportunities, and with Rahul and Calvin at the helm, EvolutionX will be well-placed to partner companies in their next stage of growth.”

Looking Ahead

Over the next few years, EvolutionX aims to build a strong pipeline of investment opportunities and provide amortising term debt facilities with ticket sizes of US$20–50 million along with warrants or convertible instruments.

The debt financing platform seeks to invest in technology companies in a wide array of sectors such as consumer, education, financial services, healthcare, logistics, and industrial development in India, China, and Southeast Asia. Headquartered in Singapore, EvolutionX has built a robust investment team in Singapore, as well as a team based in Mumbai in India in 2022 and intends to establish its presence in China in 2023.