KK Fund seeks bigger play in Vietnam, targets to close five investments in a year

Koichi Saito, founder and general partner of KK Fund at DEALSTREETASIA's Asia PE-VC Summit 2018 in Singapore.

Singapore-based KK Fund – which invests out of a $50-million vehicle in startups across Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan – is looking to seal up to five new investments in Vietnam buoyed by a robust pipeline, a top executive told this portal.

The fund is evaluating close to 10 startups from the region, where it made a recent debut.

“We have around 10 companies in the pipeline, in the property, logistics, fintech and entertainment sectors,” Koichi Saito, founder and general partner of KK Fund told this portal in a recent interaction.

He added that the firm is likely to close up to five more investments in Vietnam within the next 12 months.

Last month, KK Fund marked its maiden Vietnam investment when it co-led a $710k round in  recruitment platform JobHop. Saito said, the firm has been observing the Vietnam market for a couple of years.

“The quality of founders in Vietnam is high,” Saito said.

However, lack of capital for startups including follow-on funding remain challenges for startups to achieve scale in the country, he added.

“I was waiting for the right timing, as a seed investor. Today, Vietnam is getting attention from the region, with a lot of money from Korean, Japanese and Singapore investors,” he reasons.

Saito also revealed that Sun SEA Capital, KK Fund’s recent partnership investment vehicle with Malaysia’s Sunway Berhad, is working with one Vietnamese company in the due diligence stage.

The $50-million fund for which KK Fund acts as a general partner focuses on providing Series A financing for startups in Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Hong Kong.

Saito said his firm was confident about finding early-stage founders, taking the startups to the next level and earning returns.

Also read: 

KK Fund makes Vietnam debut, backs HR-tech startup JobHop

Malaysian conglomerate Sunway Bhd sets up VC arm, targets to raise $50m

KK Fund backs founders with an ‘unfair advantage’, says founder Saito

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.