NSI Ventures nears final close of $50m first fund

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NSI Ventures co-founder Hian Goh (middle) speaking to his team. Image from NSI Ventures.

Singapore-headquartered private equity firm Northstar Group‘s venture capital arm NSI Ventures is pushing towards the final close of its first fund, according to an industry executive aware of the development. The fund size is said to be north of $50 million, according to industry executives tracking the venture capital scene in Singapore.

NSI declined to comment on the development.

The venture capital firm invests in startups at both the Series A and Series B stage, where the demand is far higher than at the seed stage. NSI Ventures has already begun making investments from its first fund – according to its website, it lists seven investments.

NSI Ventures most recently led a $8 million Series A funding for healthcare technology startup ConneXion Asia.

Also read: Health tech co CXA closes $8m Series A round, targets Asia expansion

Other investments, all in B2C and B2B technology businesses with access to global markets include Chope, Redmart, Crayon, Go Jek, Zimplistic Inventions  and Oway.

NSI Ventures is backed by Southeast Asia private equity firm Northstar Group which manages five funds with over $1.8 billion in assets under management.

Northstar, in turn, is backed by US private equity firm TPG Capitalwhich, holds a 20 per cent stake in the Singapore-headquartered private equity firm.

Prior to Northstar’s backing, NSI Ventures co-founders and general partners Hian Goh and Shane Chesson had set up Pivotal Asia Ventures in 2010. Through that vehicle, they had had invested in Singapore-based startups like – online restaurant booking service Chope, big data company Crayon Data and online supermarket Redmart.

The firm is now dormant and its portfolio companies have been transferred to the new investment company Silicon Island.

Silicon Island is backed by Northstar, going under the name NSI Ventures. The venture capital firm targets to invest upwards of a $1 million each in 15 to 20 tech startups, over the next six years. NSI Ventures’ focus sectors are finance and healthcare.

Goh co-founded Asian Food Channel alongside former BBC journalist Maria Brown. The culinary channel was sold to US-based Scripps Network Interactive for an undisclosed amount in April 2013.

With the proceeds from the sale, Goh then teamed up with Chesson to start venture capital firm Silicon Island.

By raising north of $50 million in just its first fund, NSI Ventures will be above the smaller VCs in Singapore such as Golden Gate Ventures, Jungle Ventures, Majuven, Monk’s Hill Ventures.

This also propels it into the big league, among the larger VCs that are operating in the city-sate, such as Walden International, SingTel Innov8, Temasek owned Vertex Venture, state supported Infocomm Investments and SBI Ven Capital and Japanese players such as IMJ Investment Partners, Rakuten Ventures and Rebright Partners.

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