Exclusive: IFC to invest $2m in Jungle Ventures-backed fund SeedPlus

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will make an equity investment in Singapore-based SeedPlus, an early-stage investment fund that is raising $18.07 million (S$25 million) to support 20 early stage companies in Southeast Asia and India, primarily in the ICT sector.

This investment will fall under the IFC Startup Catalyst program, which supports entrepreneurs and early stage companies through investments in various seed stage structures, IFC said in a filing.

SeedPlus is a joint entity that saw Jungle Ventures collaborate with venture capital (VC) partners Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd (IIPL), Accel Partners (India) and RNT Associates. Two strategic partners in this joint entity are Google South East Asia and PwC Singapore.

According to the IFC, the proposed equity commitment (in Seed is up to $2 million, not exceeding 20 per cent of total commitments.

As reported by DEALSTREETASIA earlier, IFC is also an investor in Jungle Ventures’ second fund, which has a target of $100 million.

International Finance Corporation has invested $10 million in the Jungle’s second fund and plans to infuse a further $10 million for co-investment alongside the Singapore firm’s vehicle.

With SeedPlus targeting investments in Southeast Asia and India, the expected development impact will see them support up to 20 early-stage portfolio firms and fill the early-stage capital gap. It is also aligned with the IFC imperative of building and supporting sustainable local ecosystems for entrepreneurship and venture capital.

In terms of sectoral focus, SeedPlus is already targeting investments in marketplace, e-commerce, mobile, fintech, machine learning / artificial intelligence and cyber security sectors.

Earlier this year, SeedPlus has appointed Michael Smith Jr from streaming service HOOQ, where he was CTO, Gabriel Lundberg, previously product manager at Spotify, and Tiang Lim Foo, who led Evernote’s market development in the Asia Pacific, as operating partners to spearhead its activities.

With regard to job creation, SeedPlus expects its graduated companies to create more than 100 new jobs in the near-term, as well as pollinating local startup ecosystems with talent and building expertise in these companies through the relatively long acceleration cycle, deep engagement on operations, access to networks and follow on funding through the Jungle Ventures platform.

The investment by the IFC will also offer the SeedPlus team support in the form of advisory services and potential co-investment in follow-on rounds.

According to the SeedPlus website, the firm invests S$500k to ­S$1 million in early stage ventures on market terms, coupled with helping the firm “grow to profit or the next round of funding through our network and our full­-time operating partners”, with a preference for firms that have their core teams based in Singapore.

Also Read:

India: B2B marketplace Moglix raises $4.2m from Accel, Jungle Ventures, Seedplus

Startup ecosystem in Southeast Asia is as vibrant as ever: Michael Smith, SeedPlus

Singapore: Appknox closes $652k pre-Series A investment from SeedPlus

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.