East Ventures reaches first close of latest seed fund

Willson Cuaca at DEALSTREETASIA's Asia PE-VC Summit 2017 in Singapore. Photo: DEALSTREETASIA

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.

 

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.