500 Startups to raise $20m, doubling SEA fund for tech startups

Photo sourced from 500 Startups website

Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm 500 Startups has doubled the size of its Southeast Asia-focused fund, to invest in more technology startups in the emerging region.

The seed stage investor is now seeking to raise $20 million, as reported by Bloomberg.

Among the names participating in the fund are Malaysia’s Genting Berhad, which controls Southeast Asia’s largest casino operator, investing $3 million, Bloomberg cited two people familiar with the matter.

South Korea’s GS Home Shopping Inc also plans to invest, it was reported.

Genting declined to comment on the development. GS Home Shopping, however, revealed that it is considering an investment in 500 Startups, according to the spokeswoman, Park Shin Ye.

Genting is the biggest shareholder in Genting Singapore Plc, which operates one of the two casinos in Singapore. The holding company controlled by billionaire Lim Kok The group also has interests in palm oil plantations, cruise-ship lines, property development, and energy.

GS Home Shopping operates a TV shopping channel and online malls.

500 Startups declined to comment on whether Genting and GS Home Shopping were investing in the Southeast Asia fund.

500 Startups, led by Dave McClure, has about $200 million of assets under management. Its backers include Yahoo Japan Corp and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA.

It has invested in 1,200 companies across 50 countries since 2010.

The California-based five-year old company is also looking to raise $200 million for its fourth global fund after closing its third one in September, its website said.

According to The Tech-Portal, 500 Startups has decided to embark on a fourth round of funding last month, after recently closing its third one with an impressive $85 million.

The firm started with a $29 million debut fund, and then a $10 million fund, focused on Southeast Asia, called 500 Durians.

It also has several other fund  being raised, that are on their ways to completion; one being 500 Startups Japan, which is en-route to complete its goal of $30 million in funding. Similarly, its Thailand (500 Tuktuks) and Korean (500 Kimchi) funds are close to reaching $10 million in funding.

The company is also raising yet another $10 million fund that it’s calling its Mobile Collective vehicle.

500 startups is planning to reserve half of its $200 million fund for follow-up investments.

McClure commented on TechCrunch that many of the investee companies from the first two funds are performing well and that the firm had missed out on some opportunities for follow-on investments.

“We have a lot of companies doing well from our two first funds, and there are lots of follow-on investments that we’ve chosen not to make because they were outside our budget. We consider those missed opportunities. We think 5 to 7 per cent of our investments will get to Series C rounds, or $100 million-plus in value, and we want [a bigger share] of those companies,” he said.

Also read:

500 Startups raises $85m for its third VC fund

500 Startups tops up $5m more into 500 Durians SEA micro fund

500 Startups, MaGIC to launch growth-stage accelerator for SEA

Exclusive: 500 Startups looking to make 17 new investments in Vietnam

500 Startups strengthens South East Asia team with two new partners in Vietnam

500 Startups beefs up South East Asia team with two new hires in Singapore

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.