Southeast Asian VC Maloekoe Ventures eyes $100m corpus for next fund

Southeast Asian venture capital firm Maloekoe Ventures is targeting a corpus of around $100 million for its next fund, which it will launch at the end of this year, according to co-founder and managing partner Adrien Gheur.

The fund, which is expected to be closed by the second quarter of next year, will continue to follow the firm’s investment thesis of providing founders with strategic capital and deep market access to the world’s fastest growing digital economy.

It will also look to work with more strategic and prominent LPs, something that has been a major feature in its previous fund.

“We are unique in the depth and breadth of our LP base and this will grow even bigger in our next fund,” Gheur said.

Along with Gheur, Maloekoe was founded in 2015 by several prominent Indonesian businessmen including Harun Hajadi, CEO of property conglomerate Ciputra Group; George Tahija, Board of Commissioner member and former President Director of plantation giant Austindo Nusantara Jaya; and Jimmy Masrin, President Director and CEO of Caturkarsa Megatunggal, a holding company with business in chemicals, mining, fuel distribution and logistics.

Having initially invested from capital pooled by its founding partners to solve some of the biggest pain points they had faced in their own businesses, Maloekoe now deploys from a venture fund raised from external LPs. Its current fund was closed in August 2018 after raising an undisclosed amount.

Its list of LPs for the fund include the family offices of Ciputra Group, Austindo Nusantara Jaya, Lautan Luas (a subsidiary of Caturkarsa Megatunggal) and Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corp, which has a seat on Maloekoe’s strategic advisory board.

The VC firm says it is also backed by other leading family offices in Indonesia, Philippines and Europe.

Gheur explained that all of the firm’s LPs have co-investment rights in all of its deals, which allows them to invest over and above Maloekoe in the deals that may be strategic to their respective business.

“A big reason why some of the LPs invested in our fund is because they want us to find the innovation that they need for their businesses. We find the deals, and if there is something that is very strategic to them, then they might get more into it.”

Despite the strategic nature of its fund and investments, Maloekoe says that it does not operate like a corporate VC. It sees itself as a hybrid of both corporate and financial VCs and is very focused on returns and exits.

Its LPs provides founders with access to a deep industry network, which Gheur says is one of the value-adds offered by Maloekoe. Another additional value the firm gives beyond capital is its “hustle hard” approach, which sees it spending a lot of time travelling and sitting in meetings with founders to help in all aspects of their business.

Maloekoe, which has offices in Singapore and Jakarta, has a portfolio of just over a dozen companies, which includes video-on-demand company iflix, IoT startup E-fishery and micro-mobility company Beam. Most recently, the firm invested in social media startup The Shonet.

While Indonesia and the rest of Southeast Asia are Maloekoe’s main focus markets, Gheur said the firm keeps an eye out for interesting opportunities outside of the region. Last year, for example, the firm joined the Series A round for US-based AI biometric startups Element.

“We invest locally, regionally and globally – depending on where we find the innovation that our markets need. Where it’s not being built locally, we source in the other innovation hubs around the world and bring it to our markets,” he said.

The VC, which cuts ticket sizes ranging from $100,000 to $2.5 million for seed to Series B investments, describes itself as sector-agnostic. It claims that unlike many VCs, it adopts a contrarian approach, with a tendency to move away from “hot sectors” or crowded deals.

“We find there’s a lot of herd behaviour in the local VC investing scene and take our time in assessing each deal, not based on who’s investing in it, but the execution ability of the founder team and the unique approach they’re taking,” Gheur said.

Maloekoe is currently investing out of its first fund and has deployed just over half of the fund. This year, Gheur said the firm will be looking to make up to seven more investments in the region, while also starting its work towards potential exits of its earlier investments.

“Most likely we will start seeing exits this year and next, but we’ve started doing the groundwork now,” he said.

Also Read:

Indonesian social network The Shonet raises seed round from Maloekoe Ventures

Indonesia: Gadjian gets funding from Golden Gate, Maloekoe Ventures

Indonesia: Jojonomic raises $1.5m from Maloekoe Ventures, others