With around 90 portfolio companies in Southeast Asia, Silicon Valley-based venture capital fund 500 Startups has emerged as the top tech investor in the region by a substantial margin, according to data provided by CB Insights.
500 Startups is a global VC seed fund and startup accelerator with over $250 million in assets under management. It has invested in over 1,900 technology startups in 60 countries since its founding in 2010. As an early-stage investor, 500 Startups’ initial cheque sizes range between $50,000 and $250,000, giving it leverage to spread its bets.
In October last year, it closed its second Southeast Asia-focused Durians Fund of $50 million. It plans to use the latest fund, a follow-up to the 500 Durians I fund launched in 2013, to back about 200 companies in the region.
The first fund, which more than doubled its targeted size to $25 million, had invested in 119 startups. Ride-hailing firm Grab, Indonesian e-commerce company Bukalapak and mobile marketplace Carousell were among companies backed by the fund.
500 Startups also has micro-funds focused on specific markets in the region, including for Thailand and Vietnam. The VC firm was reportedly also exploring the possibility of launching a micro-fund for the Philippines.
Data compiled by CB Insights | Infographic: DEALSTREETASIA
In second spot after 500 Startups is East Ventures, one of Southeast Asia’s oldest early-stage investors. The investment firm has made 58 investments in the region in the technology space since 2012.
Founded in 2010, East Ventures closed its fifth fund worth $27.5 million earlier this year. Its portfolio of over 135 companies includes Softbank-backed Tokopedia, e-commerce firms Orami and HipVan, and digital media firm Tech In Asia.
As another early-stage investor, its ticket sizes are typically between $100,000 and $500,000. Apart from Southeast Asia, where Indonesia is a key market, East Venture is also a prominent investor in Japan, and is present in the US too.
Golden Gate Ventures invests at the seed, Series A, and bridge stages in companies raising between $1 million and $5 million. Tech companies in its portfolio include finance portal MoneySmart, used car online marketplace Carro and digital healthcare data startup Vault Dragon.
Meanwhile, CyberAgent Ventures invests across stages from early to late stage and also offers debt financing. Its portfolio includes Vietnam’s e-learning startup Kyna.vn, healthcare portal ViCare and e-commerce firm DKT Technology.
In fourth and fifth places are early-stage, cross-border investment firm Wavemaker Partners (24 investments) and Gobi Partners (23). This year, Wavemaker Partners has invested in automotive SaaS start-up Aureso, cloud communications firm Wavecell and shopper engagement app Snapcart.
Gobi Partners has backed Singapore-backed mobile app developer Apps Foundry, Malaysia’s online game publisher CIB and Vietnam’s mobile wallet startup.