EastBridge and Affirma competes for T Map Mobility’s pre-IPO equity offering

2021.03.05 12:42:55 | 2021.03.05 12:43:50

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South Korea’s navigation solutions provider T Map Mobility has been making headway in pre-IPO fundraising with two private equity funds vying for investment after it entered an alliance for mobility business with Uber and financing of $50 million..

According to investment bank industry sources on Thursday, EastBridge Partners and Affirma Capital have handed their tender for equity investment in T Map Mobility, which became a stand-alone entity after spinning off from SK Telecom. Standard Chartered Securities is leading the sale.

The preferred bidder is expected to be selected within this month. A market source said the company backed by SK Telecom has low investment risk amid rush of other IPO candidates by Kakao Mobility and SoCar.

T Map Mobility suggested its enterprise value at around 1 trillion won ($883.8 million), the same as how American ride-hailing giant Uber valued the company when it invested $50 million in the company. The two PEFs hope to retrieve their investment when the firm goes public by 2025 as planned.

T Map Mobility was separated from SK Telecom late last year. Its core business is navigation system T Map that was launched in 2002 and most widely used in Korea. It has been expanding its business scope to public transportation, taxi and parking. It also plans to establish a joint venture with Uber next month.

Founded in 2011 by Lim Jung-gang who worked at STIC Investment, EastBridge Partners is now led by CEO Choi Dong-seok, former lead manager of investment banking business of Goldman Sachs. The homegrown PEF has been active in the Asian market. It runs two blind funds investing in companies such as Crucialtec, Innometry and CS Bearing. It has been attracting investors for its third blind-pool fund since last year.

Affirma Capital is also a strong candidate after it raked in huge profits from the sale of the country’s largest waste treatment platform EMC Holdings to SK Engineering & Construction last year. It also took profits after successfully

By Kang Woo-seok and Choi Mira

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