(Updated) Indonesia & SEA-focused East Ventures raising $100m for new JV fund

Image sourced from East Ventures' Twitter account

UPDATE: East Ventures on March 22 announced a joint venture with Sinar Mas and Yahoo Japan that was targeting to raise $150 million to invest in growth-stage startups. Dubbed EV Growth, the new venture capital fund said it had already raised $100 million from the three companies. This article and its headline were updated accordingly to reflect the fact that the $100 million we reported East Ventures as raising was for EV Growth and not its own early-stage investments. 

Indonesia and South East Asia-focused venture capital firm East Ventures is raising $100 million for a new fund that it plans to close this year, an industry executive aware of the development told this portal.

East Ventures, which has been active in this region since 2010, had previously raised a $30-million fund in September 2017.

East Ventures could not be reached for comment.

The firm, which is among the few investors in this region that boasts of significant exits to return funds to its Limited Partners (LPs), has been successful in raising and deploying new vehicles at a rapid pace. It closed two new funds in 2017 alone – its fifth vehicle totalling $27.5 million in January, followed by another one to the tune of $30 million in September.

The VC firm has over 100 portfolio companies in this region, placing it amongst the largest seed investors in Southeast Asia. It also has holdings in three of the seven unicorns in this region – Traveloka, Tokopedia and Grab (via Kudo which the ride-sharing firm had acquired last year). On average, it invests in about 20 companies annually.

East Ventures has announced three investments this month alone. Recently, it said it had committed an undisclosed amount in Indonesian on-demand warehousing company Waresix. Again in February, it participated in the $4-million funding round of local retail tech startup Warung Pintar, along with SMDV, Digital Garage, Insignia Ventures Partners, Triputra Group and various angel investors.

Just prior to that, East Ventures and Japan’s IDATEN Ventures had invested in the Series A funding round of Nyriad Limited, a New Zealand-based exascale computing firm that specialises in advanced data storage solutions.

Partners Willson Cuaca, Batara Eto, and Taiga Matsuyama stick to an investment philosophy of identifying verticals, and placing bets on companies early – with ticket sizes of $100,000 to $500,000.

The $100-million corpus for the new vehicle may indicate an evolving strategy to double down and hold stakes in an increased number of portfolio companies as they raise additional rounds.

In addition to larget ticket sizes and moving into the Series A and upward space, East Ventures’ decision to look at tripling the corpus of its upcoming vehicle may also stem from the fact that competitors have all raised large follow-on vehicles.

Other large funds in this region include Singapore-based Insignia Ventures Partners, founded by former Sequoia Capital venture partner Yinglan Tan, that recently closed its maiden fund at $120 million. In 2017, Vickers Ventures had recently raised $230 million for its fifth fund, and Vertex Ventures, the venture capital arm of Singapore state fund Temasek Holdings Pte, closed its third vehicle for this region at $210 million.

Shanghai and Kuala-Lumpur based Gobi Partners is currently raising a $200-million Meranti ASEAN Growth Fund, and Singapore and Silicon Valley-based K2 Global, which is targeting to raise $200 million for its second venture capital fund, even as NSI Ventures, the VC arm of PE firm Northstar Group, is raising a $125-million second fund.

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.