S Korea’s KVIC commits $37.5m to APAC, MENA funds including Cento, Do Ventures

Seoul, South Korea. Photo by Emile-Victor Portenart on Unsplash

South Korean fund-of-funds manager Korea Venture Investment Corporation (KVIC) has approved a capital commitment of $37.5 million to five venture funds from the Asia Pacific and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

KVIC is a South Korean government-backed fund-of-funds manager with over $4 billion in assets under management, according to its website.

The five VC firms which secured a commitment from KVIC are China’s Northern Light VC, which received $10 million; Southeast Asia’s Vertex Venture Management ($15 million), Cento Ventures ($6 million) and Do Ventures ($5 million); and MENA-focused Shorooq Partners ($1.5 million), according to a disclosure by the Korean firm.

Northern Light’s fund has a minimum target corpus of $50 million, showed the disclosure. DealStreetAsia on Monday reported that the VC, which backs early-stage startups in China and the US, is set to close an RMB fund and a US dollar fund with $700 million in total capital commitments.

Vertex, Cento Ventures and Vietnam-focused Do Ventures are seeking to raise a minimum of $170 million, $25 million and $35 million respectively, for their funds.

Vertex Growth, part of Vertex Ventures’s global network of venture funds, had recently announced securing KVIC as a limited partner for its second growth fund, which has a target of $330 million.

The venture commitments were approved by the government-backed fund manager’s Foreign VC Investment Fund (FVCIF), an investment vehicle which invests in offshore VC funds to help South Korean companies grow and expand internationally. KVIC had set a budget of 75 billion Korean won ($68 million) for the scheme, issuing an open call for applications in March this year.

According to KVIC, a total of 27 VC firms applied for $280.4 million in funds. The five Southeast Asia and MENA funds had beaten 15 other applicants across their respective categories to make the final cut. KVIC did not disclose its key criteria for selection, but its application form had highlighted a range of areas, including track record and exits.

The other funds which had applied to FVCIF were Fosun, IDG Capital and El Camino Capital from China; Vynn Capital, Ternary, Tembusu-Awesome, Redbadge Pacific, Quest Ventures, KK Fund, January Capital, Antler and 1982 Ventures from Southeast Asia; and Korelya Capital, Idinvest, and 2be.lu from the others category.

According to a Private Equity International (PEI) report, KVIC’s previous commitments to APAC funds include a $3.5 million investment in Access Ventures Fund II in 2019 and undisclosed investments in Kejora Ventures’s $100 million InterVest Star Growth Fund 1 in 2019 and Golden Gate Ventures’s $100 million K9 fund in 2018.

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.