Gojek-backer Openspace Ventures launches $200m third fund

Openspace Ventures founding partner Hian Goh.

Singapore-headquartered venture capital firm Openspace Ventures is in the market to raise $200 million for its third fund.

The fund was launched in February, the VC firm confirmed. It succeeds the early Gojek investor’s $135 million second fund that was closed in 2018 after securing capital from investors including Temasek Holdings and StepStone Group.

The fund launch comes at a time when the coronavirus outbreak has set the global stock markets tumbling and resulted in travel restrictions that have caused private investors to cancel their in-person meetings with potential and existing limited partners.

A “black swan” warning from storied Silicon Valley VC Sequoia Capital last week has further fuelled concerns that fundraising efforts–by startups and fund managers alike–are likely to be stymied.

Openspace Ventures founding partner Hian Goh says his firm is unperturbed. “Most of our main LP relationships have been with us for the past two funds, so they actually understand that this could be a good opportunity as the best startups still need capital. So it represents a great long-term buying opportunity.”

The VC firm’s funds have previously secured backing from pension funds, university endowments, insurance companies and family offices in the US, Australia, Europe, Japan, China, Korea and Singapore.

Openspace Ventures typically invests in early-stage startups, primarily in Southeast Asia, at Series A and B stages. It recently invested in Thai digital wealth management startup Finnomena, marking its maiden investment in the Southeast Asian country.

Other investments include CXA Group (digital insurance), Biofourmis (healthtech), Chope (restaurant booking), Halodoc (healthtech), Finaccel (fintech), Sorabel (fashion e-commerce), Myanmar’s Oway (ride-hailing), Pathao (ride-hailing) in Bangladesh, Topica (edtech) in Vietnam and social app Kumu in the Philippines.

The Gojek-backer had pared its stake in ASX-listed cloud communications startup Whispir during the startup’s 2019 IPO but continues to remain invested in the firm, according to its website.

Goh said the COVID-19 outbreak had brought about increased investor interest in its portfolio companies in the healthtech space.

“Biofourmis and Halodoc are just two of our companies which we think have weathered this storm well and have significant investor interest, ironically because of the realisation that telemedicine and digital therapeutics and monitoring are great ways to deliver treatment during times like this,” he added.

DealStreetAsia had last year reported that the VC firm was planning to launch a growth opportunities fund of $300 million, along with its $200-million third fund, to double down on select portfolio companies with investors, or limited partners (LPs), in its VC funds.

“We are still in discussion with our LPs to formalize co-investment efforts,” Goh said in response to queries about the growth opportunities fund.

According to data compiled by DealStreetAsia based on fund announcements, our sources and regulatory disclosures, there are 42 Southeast Asia-based VCs currently in the market seeking to raise nearly $5 billion in total. The largest of these is global tech investor B Capital Group, which we earlier reported is seeking to hit its second fund’s hard cap of $750 million after meeting its $600-million target.

Others in the market include Vickers Ventures (seeking $500 million for its sixth fund), Malaysia’s Xeraya Capital (eyeing $400 million for its latest life sciences fund) and Golden Gate Ventures (a $200 million growth fund with Hanwha Asset Management).

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.