From investors, fund managers, family offices, tech companies to successful tech company founders, we have the depth and breadth of experience to journey with you in Asia's thriving and vibrant technology startup ecosystem.

The startup scene in Asia is growing rapidly, with an increasing number of unicorns emerging in the region. The startup ecosystem in the region is vibrant and vigorous, comprising amongst others, angel investors, entrepreneurs-turned-mentors, venture capitalists, investment funds, accelerators and incubators, backed by numerous government programmes eager to create a conducive environment for tech startups to flourish.

We have a long history of working with private investors, family offices, venture capitalists and successful tech founders. With our experience in funds and tax, we have particular strength in helping investors structure their investments to meet their investment objectives and have been engaged in deals involving some of the region’s most promising tech ventures, some of whom having achieved unicorn status. We work with clients not only during the investment phase, but are dedicated to the continued success of their ventures, working with the tech companies to protect and commercialize their cutting edge technologies (ranging from AI to blockchain), and advising them on their corporate and commercial matters, as well as in dispute resolution.

We have a full understanding of the tech startup ecosystem in Asia and have worked with all stakeholders in the ecosystem, across all stages of the life cycle of a tech company. We are committed to the technology sector and have a dedicated group of over 20 lawyers across the region with deep experience in the full range of legal areas, such as funds, tax, corporate and intellectual property, focused on serving the tech sector.

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Our areas of experience

Regulatory and licencing

Asia is a highly diverse region and the regulatory landscape can be complex to navigate. Whether you are a fund, investor or tech company specialising in fintech, medtech, insurtech, food tech, mediatech, etc, we have the necessary expertise to help you traverse the regulatory, compliance and licencing landscape across the region and globally.

Fund Formation

We provide market-leading capabilities on the entire life cycle of a venture capital fund. In Asia, we host an integrated team of funds lawyers specialising in the legal, regulatory and international tax advisory aspects of fundraising, marketing, formation, management and investment.

Fundraising, investment and exit

Our Withers tech team in Asia has the depth and diversity of knowledge to advise on all areas of capital deployment, including private equity, venture capital and corporate and M&A transactions. We also regularly assist tech company founders in structuring financing rounds to maximize the value of their venture, protect their commercial interest and importantly, to facilitate ease in executing future financing rounds.

Regardless of your preferred exit strategies, our team of professionals at Withers tech is able to help you seamlessly structure and execute successful exits for your investments. We also have an exemplary record in advising successful tech entrepreneurs on their personal matters including international tax planning, international trust structuring and tax planning/family office, structuring their next venture, or investments into other ventures, immigration, matrimonial advice, philanthropy, as well as trusts and succession planning.

Management and growth

Growing and scaling the business of the tech venture is key in maximizing the potential of your investment. To help maximize and protect the value of your investment, our Withers tech team can advise you on the appropriate corporate structure for institutional investors yet protecting founders’ interest; how to protect the intellectual property of your proprietary technology and brand; how to successfully negotiate corporate and commercial contracts entered into with third parties to best protect your interests; implementing best-in-class data protection practices and policies; designing employment contracts and policies; exploring relevant issues and potential structures to use for scaling and expanding your business into other jurisdictions; and how best to manage dispute resolution.

Tax structuring

With an unrivalled team of more than 150 corporate and personal tax lawyers, Withers is always ready to assist in domestic and international tax planning. Our advice is knowledgeable, reliable and solution-focused. We excel in solving cross-border and multi-jurisdictional issues, providing domestic and international businesses, both publicly or privately owned, tax efficient strategies.

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Withers KhattarWong LLP provided the answers and solutions in advance. They are pro-active and review all angles.

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific
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The lawyers work as a team leveraging off each other to provide a comprehensive overview of the advice. Having seen them work as a team, I can see the difference in the results and outcomes. Withers KhattarWong LLP has a logical way of operating. We were able to present the outline of a complex case and it was completely understood and digested.

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific
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The IP and technology department at Withers KhattarWong is ‘extremely hard working, very good value for money and very client orientated’.

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific
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Withers KhattarWong stands out for its ‘prompt response times, industry knowledge and appropriateness of advice’.

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific
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Withers tech is a valuable partner to SGTech, with its deep bench of highly experienced lawyers, skilled in advising on the full range of legal areas for tech companies. We have been working with the team in Singapore to deliver timely and quality content that is highly relevant and beneficial to our tech members. A key example was the sharing on legal ramifications of the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act when it was first passed. The team delivers practical and commercially strategic advice and knowledge with confidence stemming from their vast experience working with diverse industry sectors on the entire spectrum of tech law.

Mr Yeo See Kiat, Executive Director, SGTech
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Jonathan has been a great help in addressing key data acquisition and licensing issues as we build our database and business model for our proptech platform. He has a wide breadth of expertise in the tech law space, from drafting of data transfer, licensing and subscription agreements to providing commercial and timely corporate advice. Jonathan and his team are well equipped, responsive and go the extra mile – exactly what we need to establish our business on a firm legal foundation.

Leong Si Ngah, CEO of SoReal
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Jonathan serves as a Co-opted Executive Committee Member in the Cloud & Data Chapter of SGTech. He has been very supportive of the Chapter’s initiatives and contributes to the Chapter by providing practical insights and recommendations. Jonathan is attuned to the current market and is knowledgeable about the legal aspects in Cloud & Data business. We consider Jonathan as one of the leading lawyers specialised in technology. He has also made available the wide global network and cross-capabilities of Withers tech to benefit our members.

Mr Lim Soon Tein, Cloud & Data Chapter Chairman (2017 - 2020), SGTech
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Joel has a thorough understanding of how venture capital investments work, and know what is important to his VC clients. I would consider Joel one of the “go-to” lawyers for venture capital work in Indonesia.

Michael Soerijadji, Partner, Agaeti Ventures
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Joel’s breadth of expertise within the venture capital space is especially impressive, and we have instructed him across a range of matters, from fund formation to series investment, restructuring, and exits. We… consider him one of the leading VC and tech lawyers in Indonesia.

Abraham Hidayat, Partner, Skystar Capital
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Joel is Ant Financial’s preferred counsel for matters with an Indonesian focus. He has worked with us across our business units in Indonesia. We would consider him one of the leading fintech lawyers today. The financial services and financial technology sectors in the region are highly regulated verticals, and Joel’s knowledge of fintech regulation is unparalleled.

Meta Mustikaningrum, Ant Financial

Meet the team

Track record

Grab, in relation to the launch of Grab Ventures Ignite (GVI)

The Vietnamese extension of its flagship accelerator programme, Grab Ventures, dedicated to Vietnamese early-stage startups and aimed at encouraging technology entrepreneurship and supporting the growth of Vietnam’s startup ecosystem.

Grab, in its pilot project, GrabCycle

A marketplace app unifying four different mobility partners into a single app. We assisted the client in setting the template for its partnership agreement with other mobility partners. This matter was of particular significance as it marks Grab's efforts to offer a suite of multi-modal transport offerings and to test new mobility and payment concepts.

Softbank Robotics

On its potential commercialisation initially in Hong Kong and then potentially throughout Asia

Giorgio Armani

In its China e-Commerce system setup service contract in China.

The Sufferfest

Headquartered in Singapore, in its acquisition by Wahoo Fitness, a US-based leader in connected fitness devices.

SugarCRM

A software company based in California, US, on the acquisition of email integration technology and associated customer contracts from a Singapore start-up, Collabspot, and also worked on the contracts for the transaction.

Tencent Cloud

A leading cloud service provider, on product compliance matters, including: Certification requirements in Singapore for new cloud short message service, including telecommunications licensing requirements; material regulatory and legal risks in offering the service in Singapore, including requirements to allow local government or state access to communications or data.

Percipient Partners

A data technology and analytics company based in Singapore, on their software licence agreements, service level agreements, value added reseller agreements, and collaborations with third parties (such as financial institutions) in the Asia-Pacific region.

Advised a major London-headquartered communication conglomerate

On its acquisition of a majority stake in a Hong Kong-based digital consultancy company.

A Singapore fintech company providing digital payment solutions

On licensing matters in relation to the Payment Services Act, and assisting them with their licence applications for a payment services licence.

A Singapore technology company

On their contract with their vendor for HR system.

A Singapore insurance company

On its software development project incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) technology in the program. Special considerations including legal compliance with the Monetary Authority of Singapore's Guidelines on Outsourcing we considered.

A foreign listed communications and information technology company

On privacy and data issues concerning processing and international transfer of personal data concerning data subjects in Singapore.

A Singapore technology and mobile communications company

On the acquisition of mobile traffic technology from a U.S. company.

An investment holding company focusing

On promising consumer-sector businesses in Asia in respect of their acquisition of a master licence for the Indian sub-continent from an Indonesian group in respect of their patented technology in the field of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

A leading Singapore tech start-up company which provides online payment security systems

On a US$50 million fund raising exercise by an institutional investor.

A Fintech company

On the Singapore taxation of income to be derived through high frequency proprietary trading activities.

A Hong Kong based technology company

On its development and licensing partnership between a Silicon Valley based semiconductor company and its strategic partner in Zhuhai, China.

A Japanese mobile communication company

On the sale of US$30 million of common stock to U.S. and Japanese strategic and financial investors.

Assisted the liquidators of a Singapore technology company

On the sales of proprietary AI software.

Advised a data science consulting company headquartered

On Cyprus on the intra-group transfer of its IP rights to its Singapore company.

An Asian fintech billionaire

On relation to his relocation to the UK prior to a significant liquidity event. This involved complex pre-immigration UK tax planning, including the disposal and restructuring of several significant assets before becoming resident, the reorganization of multiple bank accounts with multiple banks to provide for tax efficient remittances to the UK, and the creation of a trust for his wife and children.

A Chinese TMT founder

On the creation and funding of an offshore trust structure, transactions with a US trust structure, creation of a Hong Kong charity, and advised on setting up a US charitable foundation.

Advising an international investment management firm

In its private investment in a PRC-based open-source, cloud-native, distributed SQL database provider.