Australia’s Telstra Ventures invests $10m in Singapore-based Monk’s Hill VC fund

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Telstra Ventures, the investment arm of Australia’s biggest telecom company, is investing in Monk’s Hill Ventures, a Singapore-based venture capital fund, the vehicle’s managing director Kuo-Yi Lim told DEALSTREETASIA.

Monk’s Hill has been on the road since 2013 to raise its first vehicle, a $80 to $100 million fund, which is yet to hit the final close.

Kuo-Yi Lim said, the VC firm was in the process of closing this fund, but did not elaborate on the final corpus, or the time frame for the close.

He further added that the Telstra investment into the firm had happened earlier, but was being disclosed only now.

Last year, DEALSTREETASIA exclusively reported that Monk’s Hill had roped in Cisco and Singapore state fund Temasek Holdings as LPs (limited partners) for its $80-million fund.

The VC firm later confirmed the development, and announced it had bagged a $10-million investment from Cisco Investments, that has an active portfolio of $2 billion with nearly 100 direct investments around the world, and also holds LP positions in over 35 funds globally.

Prior to that, Monk’s Hill Ventures had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from YJ Capital, the corporate venture arm of Yahoo Japan, the $24 billion-valued JV between Yahoo and Softbank

Monk’s Hill, launched in 2013 by principals Peng T. Ong — co-founder of Match.com and founder of NASDAQ-listed Interwoven — and Kuo-Yi Lim, the former chief executive of Infocomm Investments, mostly provides Series A and B level funding to high-growth technology companies operating in fast growing Asian markets.

It has two primary focus areas – first, early stage, Series A and B, technology start-ups operating across Southeast Asia and second, global technology companies seeking to expand into Southeast Asia.

Telstra’s $10-million investment in Monk’s Hill is hedged by parent company Telstra Corp against risk from falling profits in traditional products such as phone calls and broadband services. However, the new bets are risky as well, and might not result in desired returns.

Matthew Koertge, managing director, Telstra Ventures, said in an interview to Australian media that using regional specialists like Hill would provide access to opportunities in new markets of Asia that he is not familiar with.

Telstra chief executive officer Andy Penn has previously described Asia as a key part of his growth strategy. The market leader reported a drop in mobile subscriber growth in February.

Telstra Ventures is open to further investment in external funds that help it with investments in markets where it lacks expertise. It already has offices in the US, in addition to its home market of Australia, but the company is unlikely to make investments in external funds in these markets, preferring to make more investments in funds that are familiar with southeast Asia.

 

 

Also read:

Exclusive: Temasek, Cisco invest in Monk’s Hill fund for Southeast Asia

Singapore: Monk’s Hill leads $5m Series B investment in mobile game developer Playlab

Compare88 raises undisclosed Series A from Monk’s Hill

Cisco venture arm invests $10m in Singapore VC firm Monk’s Hill

Philippine online realty marketplace ZipMatch raises $2.5m from Monk’s Hill Ventures & 500 Startups

 

 

 

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.