US VC firm 500 Startups raises largest fund so far, rebrands as 500 Global

The 500 Startups logo is displayed at the company's Capital Towers office in Singapore. Photo: Ipsita Ray/DEALSTREETASIA

San Francisco-based early-stage venture investor 500 Startups has reached the final close of its global flagship fund at $140 million, its largest to date, according to an announcement.

The 11-year-old venture capital firm also rebranded as 500 Global, with assets under management of $18 billion, expanding its investment strategy beyond the accelerator and seed stage.

The firm said it has already started writing larger investments into companies, leading or co-leading fundraising rounds, as well as offering later stage co-investment opportunities to limited partners.

The fifth flagship fund, 500 Startups V LP, received commitments from large institutional investors since its launch in 2019.

500 Startups closed its fourth fund at $62.2 million in 2017, falling significantly short of its original target of $200 million. The third fund closed at $85 million, while the first two had a combined corpus of over $59 million.

Overall, the firm’s portfolio has yielded 33 companies valued at over $1 billion and more than 120 companies valued at over $100 million, including Talkdesk, Canva, Bukalapak, Grab, Shippo, and more. 500 Global claims to have backed more than 6,000 entrepreneurs across 77 countries.

Rebranding as 500 Global underscores the expansion of the firm’s strategy beyond accelerator and seed investments especially at a time when the global startup ecosystems are developing at a pace that has never been seen before.

“We’re excited to expand our scope to back even more founders globally, from the first check to last. Our new brand reflects this vision,” said Christine Tsai, CEO and founder partner of 500 Global.

In August, the firm also rebranded its Southeast Asia fund from 500 Durians to 500 Southeast Asia The fund is now open to larger follow-on cheques of up to $5 million, as well as potential investments through special-purpose vehicles, such as the $21.2 million vehicle it previously executed for Carousell.

500 Southeast Asia is not the only 500 Global fund that focuses on the region. It also operates 500 Startups Vietnam and the Thailand-focused accelerator fund, 500 TukTuks.

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.