Exclusive: Insignia Ventures Partners closes debut fund at $120m

Yinglan Tan

Singapore-based Insignia Ventures Partners, founded by former Sequoia Capital venture partner Yinglan Tan, has closed its maiden fund at $120 million, two industry executives aware of the matter told this portal.

The milestone comes less than a year after Tan left Sequoia’s office in Singapore, and also marks the largest ever maiden vehicle by a venture capital firm in this region.

It also makes Insignia Ventures Partners among the largest vehicles in Southeast Asia, behind Vickers Ventures that had recently raised $230 million for its fifth fund, and Vertex Ventures, the venture capital arm of Singapore state fund Temasek Holdings Pte, that last year closed its third vehicle for this region at $210 million.

Other large funds in this region include Shanghai and Kuala-Lumpur based Gobi Partners that 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. NSI Ventures, the VC arm of PE firm Northstar Group, is raising a $125-million second fund.  

Tan could not be reached for comments.

Insignia Ventures Partners is also learnt to have made a seed investment in Alpha JWC-backed Stoqo Teknologi Indonesia, a SaaS marketplace for F&B owners, the two industry executives aware of the negotiations confirmed.

The investment in Stoqo is said to be in the region of $1 million, the sources added. Stoqo is an app-based technology company that connects major manufacturers and distributors in the F&B space.

DEALSTREETASIA’s emails to both Insignia and Stoqo, seeking confirmation and additional information, remained unanswered at the time of publishing this article.

In September, this portal had first reported that Insignia Ventures Partners had raised around $25 million, sourcing details from its SEC filing. The fund will target technology startups operating in Southeast Asia.

Insignia has been fairly active having made several deals in the past few months. It recently invested a sum of $3.5 million in co-working space operator EV Hive. It also invested in Patamar Capital-backed Sayurbox, a tech-supported fresh produce distribution platform. It also participated in a $4-million round in Indonesian retail tech startup Warung Pintar.

Yinglan Tan joined Sequoia in 2012 from Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF). He left Sequoia in June 2017. 

Tan, who has authored books on innovation in China and VC space, was Sequoia’s first hire for Southeast Asia and sourced multiple investment opportunities for the venture capital firm, including Tokopedia, Go-Jek, Carousell, 99.co and companies like Appier and Dailyhotel, where he represented Sequoia on the board.

Despite being among the few funds to participate in the Series A and Series B deal space in Southeast Asia, Sequoia does not have a dedicated regional fund but makes investments through the Sequoia India fund, which has a corpus in excess of $850 million. Tan was involved in the evaluation of these opportunities, diligence, writing of investment notes and supporting the investments with strategy, recruiting, business development and fundraising.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Tan serves on the Singapore Government’s Pro Enterprise Panel (headed by Head of Civil Service), the Committee on the Future Economy’s Sub-Committee on Future Corporate Capabilities and Innovation, and Investment Committee on Strategic Research Innovation Fund at Nanyang Technology University, as well as the Technology Enterprise Commercialisation Scheme Evaluation Committee for SPRING Singapore.

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Singapore: Insignia Ventures Partners raises $25m for debut 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.