The financing comes shortly after the close of C88’s oversubscribed $28-million Series C round led by global information services provider Experian.
That round included new investors such as responsAbility Investments AG, DEG, InterVest, FengHe Fund Management, Pelago Capital and Fuchsia Venture Capital as well as return backers Monk’s Hill Ventures, Telstra Ventures, Kickstart Ventures and Kejora Ventures.
C88 owns and operates two licensed financial marketplaces – CekAja.com in Indonesia and eCompareMo.com in the Philippines. It also offers services such as credit scoring, data analytics and fraud detection services to its clients.
According to C88 co-founder and CEO John Patrick Ellis, the company was introduced to Korea Investment Partners by existing investor and South Korean firm InterVest.
“Korea Investment Partners has been around for a long time and they are a great fit with our team. We believe they will able to devote a lot of brainpower and resources which will help create a better company in C88,” said Ellis.
Southeast Asia has seen growing interest from South Korean investors of late.
Earlier this year, Korea Investment Partners partnered with Singapore’s Golden Equator Capital to launch an $87-million fund targeting Series A and B investments in high-growth technology companies in the region.
Last month, Indonesian VC firm Kejora Ventures said it was looking to hit the final close of its $100-million joint fund with InterVest by the end of this year. The fund made a first close at $60 million backed by limited partners including Korea Venture Investment Corp. and a trust backed by Korea Development Bank.
“We generally see a very high degree of sophistication among our South Korean shareholders and have a great deal of respect for them. The South Korean market is very advanced from virtually every perspective, especially from a tech, data and bandwidth perspective,” said Ellis.
The interest isn’t just at the VC level.
In August, South Korea and Singapore announced plans to set up a $213.2-million fund to invest in startups looking to enter both markets. The fund will be backed by their respective state investment firms, Korea Venture Investment Corp (KVIC) and Temasek.
The size of the investment will depend on the volume of Temasek’s investment, while KVIC’s share is fixed at 95 billion won, and will not exceed 40 per cent of the fund. Temasek is said to be investing at least half of the pledged amount, according to a report by The Korea Herald.