New Southeast Asian VC said to mull raising over $50m for debut fund

REUTERS/Beawiharta

Singapore-based venture capital (VC) firm Koru Partners is seeking to raise more than $50 million for its debut VC fund, DEALSTREETASIA has learnt.

Koru Partners describes itself as a multi-asset investment manager that dabbles in real asset fund management and venture capital. Its focus areas in venture capital are Series A and B companies in sectors such as financial inclusion, mobility service, socially driven e-commerce and decentralisation.

An executive aware of its fundraising plans said it could target to raise as much as $100 million for its first fund.

Koru Partners did not reply to a request for comment.

The asset management firm was co-founded by former PineBridge Investments executive Tim Loh and former Venturra Capital partner Tee Plern Suraphongchai. Both Loh and Suraphongchai are managing partners at the firm, with the former responsible for multi-asset class investments and the latter focusing on venture capital opportunities.

Koru Partners’ Venturra Capital connection does not end here. Stefan Jung, a managing partner at Venturra Capital, is listed as an adviser for the operations and management of the venture capital portfolio on the Koru Partners website. In addition, its team includes Kaspar Hidayat, a former 500 Startups and Venturra executive, as principal.

On its website, the new venture capital firm lists Zilingo, ShopBack, Carro, HappyFresh and Snapcart among its portfolio companies. These are all Venturra Capital-backed companies, fueling speculation that Koru may have bought into Venturra’s portfolio. This, however, could not be independently confirmed by DEALSTREETASIA.

In Indonesia, other VC firms focused on Series A-B investments include Series B and onwards-focused EV Growth, a joint venture between Sinar Mas, East Ventures and Yahoo! Japan; Intudo Ventures, which recently closed its $50-million second fund; and Sinar Mas Digital Ventures (SMDV).

Also Read:

Indonesia-focused Intudo Ventures closes $50m second fund

Indonesian VC Indogen Capital targets 10 new investments in 2019

Exclusive: Indonesia’s Telkomsel to launch growth stage fund with Telkom and Singtel

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.