Insignia Ventures Partners in the market to raise third fund, targets around $250m

Yinglan Tan, Founding Managing Partner of Insignia Ventures, at the Asia PE-VC Summit 2019 in Singapore. Photo: DealStreetAsia

Singapore-based venture capital firm Insignia Ventures Partners is in the market to raise its third fund targeting around $250 million, sources close to the development have confirmed to DealStreetAsia.

Insignia plans to launch the fund by end-2021, or early-2022. The firm is also planning a close by end-2022, according to two sources.

At around $250 million, the third fund will be notably bigger than Insignia’s previous funds.

Insignia had closed its second fund at a hard cap of $200 million in October 2019, while its debut fund had secured $120 million in its final close in 2018 — the largest maiden vehicle raised by a Southeast Asia-based VC firm at the time. Pavilion Capital, a subsidiary of Singapore’s state investor Temasek Holdings, was an anchor investor in the first fund.

The focus sectors of the third fund could not be ascertained, but Insignia’s stated aim is to make early-stage technology investments in Southeast Asia. Insignia’s founding managing partner Yinglan Tan had told DealStreetAsia earlier that the VC firm sees Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines as key markets and that it is bullish on the healthcare and education sectors.

An email sent to Insignia from DealStreetAsia remained unanswered.

The second fund, Insignia Ventures Fund II, which was “heavily oversubscribed”, had raised capital from limited partners including sovereign wealth funds, university endowments, foundations, and family offices in Asia, Europe, and North America. It made prominent early bets in Southeast Asia, including in used car marketplace Carro, smart lock maker igloohome, fintech firm Payfazz, logistics startup LOGIVAN, online lending platform First Circle and co-working space provider COCOWORK.

More recently Insignia has backed three Indonesian startups — stock brokerage platform Ajaib, logistics startup Shipper, and the social commerce firm Super.

Besides the three funds, Insignia is also believed to have raised a $200-million fund for secondary investments, which entails buying stakes in startups from existing investors and/or current and former employees.

Insignia was founded by Tan, a former Sequoia Capital venture partner, in 2017. Prior to Insignia, Yinglan Tan was a venture partner with Sequoia Capital, and among its first executives in Southeast Asia. According to his LinkedIn profile, he was responsible for sourcing multiple investment opportunities at Sequoia, including Tokopedia, Gojek, Carousell, Appier, and Dailyhotel.

Outlook for SE Asian VCs improves

Insignia’s plans to raise a third fund come as the outlook for VC fundraising seemed to show positive signs in the first quarter this year.

Southeast Asia-based VC firms held a final close for five funds in the first quarter of this year, raising $694 million. The number of funds closed was the highest in a quarter since the start of 2020, when COVID-19 hit, showed our DATA VANTAGE report titled SE Asia’s VC Funds: Q1 2021 Review.

At around $250 million, Insignia’s third fund will be comparable to the biggest in the region.

Source: DealStreetAsia’s SE Asia’s VC Funds: Q1 2021 Review report

Among the big fundraisers in Q1 this year included B Capital Group, which raised $415 million for a vehicle that will provide follow-on capital to top companies in its existing portfolio, and Singapore-based Openspace Ventures, which raised its $200 million third 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.