MDI Ventures, KB Investment hold first close for $150m Centauri Fund

Indonesian venture capital firm MDI Ventures and South Korea’s KB Investment have hit the first close of their joint growth-stage venture fund, a top executive told DealStreetAsia. 

Centauri Fund, which launched in December 2019, is seeking to raise $150 million. It is led by general partners Kenneth Li, a managing partner at MDI Singapore, and KB Investment chief executive officer Kim Jong Pil.

Speaking with DealStreetAsia, Li said the fund has held a first close after raising half its target corpus. Investors backing the fund include South Korean sovereign wealth fund Korea Growth Investment Corporation (K-Growth), which pumped in 10 billion Korean won ($8.57 million). 

“With the help of K-Growth and our existing investors, Centauri Fund is well-positioned to uplift the local tech ecosystem in exciting areas like fintech, e-commerce, and big data,” Li added. 

The investment from K-Growth, a fund-of-funds management firm, will set the stage for a more robust and fluid tech investing corridor between Korea and Southeast Asia’s largest market, Indonesia, said a Centauri statement on Tuesday.

Centauri Fund invests in select companies in fast-growing sectors, such as machine learning and fintech, with a strong potential for scale and expansion. The fund has made four investments so far. 

In April 2020, it led a $13.5 million Series A financing round for insurtech platform Qoala. It also backed WEBUY, a Singapore-based social commerce startup, alongside venture capital firm Wavemaker Partners, in October 2020. 

More recently, Centauri backed an early-stage investment in Indonesian logistics startup Paxel.co in April 2021. It also participated in a Series C funding round for Indonesian fintech company Cermati, a deal led by MDI Ventures. 

“Our fund acts as a working gear in the larger ecosystem. Centauri’s managers can invest as early as the seed stage and participate repeatedly in later rounds, as companies reach growth-stage and beyond,” explained Centauri Fund partner Steven Hong.

The fund also benefits from its ties to two conglomerates – MDI Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of Telkom Indonesia, while KB Investment is part of South Korean financial institution KB Financial Group.

“Hopefully, the collaboration between K-Growth and Centauri Fund can strengthen relations between Indonesia and South Korea, especially in terms of developing the digital economy,” said Fajrin Rasyid, Director of Digital Business at Telkom Group. 

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.