Singapore’s largest news publisher, SPH Media, announced its acquisition of homegrown startup and tech news outlet Tech in Asia (TIA) on November 1. With this, the company aims to boost SPH Media’s news offerings, particularly enhancing The Business Times (BT), a financial news publication.
SPH Media is on a path to broaden its readership base throughout Southeast Asia and accelerate its ambition of becoming a regional hub for business and tech news and events. The acquisition of TIA is expected to play a crucial role in SPH Media’s larger transformation efforts.
Wong Wei Kong, Editor-in-Chief of the English/Malay/Tamil Media Group at SPH Media, expressed the strategic significance of the acquisition, which will enable them to provide a more comprehensive array of products and services to their readers.
Tech in Asia (TIA) founder and CEO Willis Wee, expressed his optimism regarding the acquisition by SPH Media, emphasizing the strategic advantages it offers. He highlighted SPH’s scalability, the synergy between their teams, and the benefits of certainty and liquidity for investors.
While the financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, The Straits Times reported that the acquisition is being funded through SPH Media’s existing resources. Wee also said Tech in Asia will remain independent, preserving its unique culture, processes, and HR policies. An SPH Media spokesperson mentioned that the post-merger integration process is expected to span 12 to 18 months, during which Tech in Asia and The Business Times (BT) will continue to operate as separate brands.
Additionally, Wee highlighted the liquidity this deal provides for shareholders, including those who have been dedicated supporters of TIA for more than a decade. The acquisition rewards current and former employees who have played essential roles in shaping TIA’s present status.
TIA’s investor portfolio includes prominent names like SoftBank, East Ventures, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, Walden International, and Hanwha Investment Corporation, with a total funding raised of $17 million over seven rounds.
Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Singapore, Tech in Asia (TIA) is a digital news outlet specializing in providing coverage of startup and venture capital news to a readership primarily spanning Southeast Asia, India, and North America.
Willis Wee, the founder of TIA, also serves as its CEO. With around 90 employees based in Singapore, Indonesia, and other locations across Asia, the company operates its annual flagship event, the Tech in Asia Conference.
Notably, Tech in Asia started its funding journey, securing $6.6 million in November 2017, adding to its total funding raised, which exceeds $13 million. Subsequently, in October 2018, Tech in Asia introduced a subscription service, allowing readers to access paywalled articles in exchange for a monthly subscription fee.
The acquisition of Tech in Asia by SPH Media is subject to the customary closing conditions, with the expected completion date set for the end of 2023.