Established in 2007 through the coalition of several Australian and Asian family offices, Arowana has scaled up from a single office in Sydney, Australia to become a global enterprise with offices in London, Singapore, Tel-Aviv, Manila, Brisbane and Sydney.
At its inception, Arowana operated as a specialist fund manager with a vehicle called the Arowana Australasian Micro-Cap Private Equity Fund (AMPEF 1). Today, Arowana has evolved into a unique enterprise that directly owns and operates listed and unlisted enterprises.
With decades of experience as both an investor and operator in diverse fields ranging from enterprise software, education, media & training, traffic management, solar development and critical power services, Arowana formulated and executed on the strategy to build a differentiated firm that focused on applying a combination of operational, technological and financial skills to scale up SME’s in an entrepreneurial manner.
As a result, the Arowana team today has an uncommon blend of cross functional skills across operations, technology and investment. We are constantly adding new expertise and capabilities to create a well-rounded, agile and future-proofed enterprise.
We took the name of Arowana – a tropical freshwater fish primarily found in Southeast Asia because of Arowana’s unique characteristics and story. It is a highly resilient and resourceful fish. It is also known for its boldness – growing to an average of 3 feet in length, they can jump more than two metres out of the water to catch food. Rare in the wild, they date from prehistoric times; they are survivors, with a long history of adaptation. For us, this fish was a good metaphor for our business: resilient, bold, resourceful and adaptable.
A "Hands On" Partnership
Our business model is simple: we directly invest in and operate small to medium-sized enterprises, working in partnership alongside entrepreneurs and leadership teams to provide the support that is essential to realising great success. We help our partners develop, grow and to overcome inevitable challenges along the way, never losing sight of the long term.
We are true partners. We find businesses that serve a real purpose within their industries and in society but need our support to manoeuvre into sustained growth. We are not passive investors who ‘hope for the best’, nor are we consultants who engage from the sidelines; we are hands-on operators. The Arowana team are always ready to roll up their sleeves and work alongside management teams, often during difficult inflection points to overcome any obstacle and develop creative solutions. We never give up.
We value and respect the entrepreneurial spirit – in fact, we live by it. We are unique in that we truly know what it means to start, scale up and operate businesses, because we count among our team those who have successfully done it.
Our perspective is distinctly global and cross-sector, from technology and finance, to leadership and data science, among many others. As a result, we can join the dots, exporting learnings from one industry to another.
We pair experience and instinct with rigorous, forensic research, and data analysis, allowing us to find opportunity for investment and operational value creation where others may not.
We understand that the work we do benefits more than the bottom line and we always consider the impact of our actions. Businesses are people; although we’re able to make hard choices, we do so responsibly. We want to see businesses and economies grow in a sustainable way and in doing so create value for our partners and ourselves.
Our Core Values
At Arowana, we value humility, solidarity and tenacity. These guide our approach to how we invest, how we operate and how we recruit talent.
Humility means that we acknowledge that we do not know it all. The world of business is one based on imperfect information and rapidly changing sets of facts. Because of this, we consider hubris and dogma as dangerous. Instead, we are lifelong learners who seek to constantly grow our knowledge and enrich our experience.
Solidarity means that as a team, we have each other’s back. We know the power of a cohesive team, united and motivated by a common purpose. By fostering a transparent, collaborative and communicative culture, we ensure that knowledge, insights and experiences are shared. We work closely with one another, to help our team-mates succeed (and our investors gain).
Tenacity means that we never give up, ever. We know the realities of scaling up enterprises…it’s a non-linear journey of ups and downs. Persistence is the ultimate determinant of success. Our intention is to grow companies so that they last, building perseverance into their DNA and resilience into their modus operandi.