Openspace Ventures hits final close of third SE Asia fund at $200m

(Left to right) Shane Chesson, founder, partner and Hian Goh, founder, general partner at Openspace Ventures

Singapore-headquartered venture capital firm Openspace Ventures announced the final close of its third Southeast Asia fund – Openspace Ventures III LP – at $200 million.

The third fund’s close raises Openspace’s total committed capital managed to $425 million across three funds, the firm said. Apart from this early-stage fund, Openspace is also in the market to raise a $300 million opportunities vehicle called OSV+ to allow its LPs to co-invest and double down on select portfolio companies.

Openspace Ventures is one of Southeast Asia’s most active venture capital firms that invests in early-stage startups across the Series A and B stages.

Some of its notable portfolio companies include Indonesian ride-hailing super app Gojek, healthtech firm Biofourmis, fintech startup Finaccel, and Filipino online entertainment app Kumu.

The firm said Fund 3 saw the addition of several new global investors, including European institutions DEG and Norfund, US-based 57 stars, and Japan-headquartered bank Mizuho.

Limited partners, or investors, in previous Openspace funds, including Temasek Holdings and Stepstone Group, are understood to have backed the latest vehicle. Both had previously invested in the firm’s $135 million second fund closed in 2018.

Shane Chesson, co-founder and partner of Openspace, said 2021 is poised to be a strong year for the firm and the Southeast Asian ecosystem, with companies scaling faster and reaching key milestones towards liquidity or exit.

“This progress helped Openspace fully raise Fund 3 to its hard cap in eight months during the midst of a pandemic,” Chesson added.

The final close of Openspace’s third venture fund follows a lacklustre fundraising performance of Southeast Asia’s VC firms in 2020. According to a DealStreetAsia report, VC firms in the region raised just $1.96 billion in 2020, a 39-per cent decline from the $3.23 billion they secured in 2019.

According to SE Asia’s VC Funds: Q4 2020 Review, venture firms based in the region closed 11 funds last year, down from 28 in the previous year, as travel restrictions imposed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and increased limited partner (LP) caution affected fundraising.

On the other hand, Southeast Asia witnessed a growing interest from global VCs wanting to tap into the emerging market growth story. As of January of this year, a total of 66 VC funds are currently in the market to raise $6.3 billion for Southeast Asian opportunities.

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.