Southeast Asia-based venture capital firm East Ventures on Thursday announced that it has reached the first close of its latest seed fund that is targeting to raise $88 million.
The new seed fund, its eighth vehicle to date, is designed for digital companies emerging from the post-lockdown aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, East Ventures said in a statement.
“The pandemic has created a chance for a new breed of entrepreneurs to think about new problems and how to solve them in efficient ways via technology,” said East Ventures managing partner Willson Cuaca.
Cuaca said that the fund will remain sector agnostic, as founders across the board are coming from a multitude of industries.
“We remain optimistic about the future of Southeast Asia’s digital economy, and we’re particularly bullish on the Indonesian market. We feel the current situation proves our core hypothesis that great founders will find a way to make their companies thrive, even in times of crisis. Great people withstand the test of time,” Cuaca added.
Some of the limited partners that East Ventures’ latest vehicle has attracted include global investment firms Adam Street Partners and Pavilion Capital.
East Ventures is intentionally keeping its latest fund under $100 million, as this makes it easier to deploy money into early-stage companies, it said in the statement.
The VC, which backs early-stage growth startups, will enable Indonesia-based startups to grow beyond the borders, while also supporting Singapore-based startups looking to expand to the archipelago.
“We realized that the majority of our CEOs have never been in crisis before. Because of this, we are doing health checks with our portfolio companies. Instead of immediately advising on tactical business plans, we first try to help the founder understand the crisis and how severely it is impacting their company,” Cuaca said.
East Ventures has grown its portfolio value and assisted in the successful exits of multiple companies. The firm has also deployed its undisclosed seventh fund for its Japanese market.
It closed its sixth fund last year at $75 million, which is more than double its initial $30-million fund, focused on Southeast Asia startups.
The firm has invested in Tokopedia, Traveloka and Ruangguru. A prolific investor, it recently announced participation in funding rounds for BukuWarung, Nusantics, Waste4Change, Hacktiv8, as well as StickEarn.