GOJEK backer Openspace Ventures to launch $500m growth fund by year-end

Openspace Ventures team

Singapore-based venture capital firm Openspace Ventures is looking to raise about $500 million for its third fund, which will be launched later this year, DEALSTREETASIA has learnt.

According to an industry source, Fund III will comprise a main fund of $200 million and a growth opportunities fund of $300 million set aside for select larger LPs.

The VC firm had closed its second fund last August at $135 million. More than 50 per cent of that fund has already been deployed, according to an executive aware of the development.

Openspace Ventures raised its inaugural $90-million fund in 2015. Limited partners in its funds include Temasek Holdings, Stepstone Group, a major US university endowment and an Australian superannuation fund.

When contacted, Openspace Ventures co-founder Hian Goh declined to comment on Fund III, but said: “We see [an] increasing momentum across the ecosystem and frequently discuss with our institutional LPs how best to support portfolio companies throughout their lifecycle.”

In its recent annual general meeting, the VC firm told its investors that its inaugural fund has hit the top 5 per cent in terms of performance against VC fund benchmarks for internal rate of return (IRR) and LP distribution.

Other funds targeting growth-stage startups in the region include EV Growth Fund, a joint venture between Sinar Mas, East Ventures and Yahoo! Japan. The firm recently held the final close for its first vehicle at $200 million, exceeding its $150-million target.

Also raising a larger growth vehicle is Golden Gate Ventures, which is looking to raise $200 million in partnership with South Korea’s Hanhwa Asset Management. As of this March, it had secured commitments worth $80 million for the vehicle.

Last month, the VC arm of Singapore’s state investment firm Temasek Holdings, Vertex Ventures, achieved the first close of its fourth Southeast Asian fund at $230 million to back startups in the region and India.

B Capital Group had also recently made the first close of its second fund at $406.1 million. Backed by Boston Consulting Group, it aims to invest up to $20 million into each portfolio company, including reserves for future growth funding.

Back to Openspace Ventures. It is not surprising for investors to be eager to plough in more capital into the VC firm. Let’s take a look at its track record.

Openspace Ventures is perhaps best known in Southeast Asia for being one of the early investors in Indonesia ride-hailing unicorn GOJEK. In the region, it has also backed Indonesia-based healthcare startup Halodoc, China-based insurtech startup CXA Group, and Bangladeshi ride-sharing platform Pathao.

In terms of exits, one of its portfolio companies, SaaS startup Whispir, will go public on the Australian stock exchange later this month.

According to its website, Openspace Ventures has so far exited its investments in Indonesian consumer marketplace Jualo and Singapore-based online grocery startup Redmart.

Founded in 2014 by Goh and Shane Chesson, Openspace Ventures was formerly known as NSI Ventures, a unit of private equity firm Northstar Group. Last April, it underwent a rebranding exercise and went independent.

Goh is an investment banker-turned-entrepreneur who founded Asian Food Channel (AFC) in 2005 and then sold it to US TV network Scripps Networks Interactive for $66 million in 2013. AFC was the region’s first Asian pay-TV food channel that had a reach of about 8 million subscribers across 11 markets.

Chesson, meanwhile, is also a former investment banker and had 14 years of investment experience, particularly in Asia, when he started Openspace with Goh.

In 2017, the firm also recruited Nichapat Ark to oversee Openspace’s Thailand coverage, who was most recently an executive committee member as well as managing director and head of financial markets for Standard Chartered Bank in Thailand.

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.