Former tryb principals set up early-stage, fintech-focused VC fund

Singapore. Photo: Guo Xin Goh

Two principals at fintech-focused investor tryb have left the Singapore-based company to set up a new venture capital firm called 1982 Ventures.

According to their Linkedin profile, Herston Elton Powers and Scott Krivokopich have now assumed the role of managing director at 1982 Ventures from December 2019 after leaving tryb a month earlier.

According to the firm’s new Linkedin page, 1982 will focus on investing in early-stage tech startups across Southeast Asia with a core focus on seed-stage fintech. Its main target markets will be Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Singapore.

While the firm does not disclose information on its fund, industry sources have said that 1982 Ventures is targeting to raise its first fund of around $20 million.

Having spearheaded on-the-ground investment activities at tryb for over two years, INSEAD graduates Powers and Krivokopich are expected to hit the ground running at their new firm given the similarities in investment thesis between the two firms.

Founded in 2016, tryb has also been targeting early-stage fintech companies in Southeast Asia. Over the last few years, it has built up a portfolio of seven companies, according to its website. Among them are Singapore payment platform MC Payment, Manila-based SME lending startup First Circle and Indonesian sharia fintech company Alami.

Another VC firm that shares a similar focus is Finch Capital. The Europe-based fintech-focused VC firm has largely been investing in Series A companies but says it plans to back companies in seed stage through its upcoming new fund, targeted at around $75 million.

These fintech-focused investors, however, are also competing with other VCs who are flocking to the region to bet on fintech. According to CB Insights, in 2018, funding to fintech startups across Southeast Asia grew 143 per cent year over year, hitting a record of $485 million invested across 68 deals.

The interest in Southeast Asian fintech is expected to persist as the opportunity and addressable market remains huge. As of 2018, only 47 per cent of adults in the region had a bank account, while only a third of Southeast Asian SMEs had access to loans or lines of credit.

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.