SG-based Quest Ventures nears first close of $50m early-stage SEA fund

From left to right: Quest Ventures managing partner James Tan and partners Goh Yiping and Jeffrey Seah

Singapore-based venture capital firm Quest Ventures is on track to hit the first close of its $50-million early-stage Southeast Asian fund by December.

According to one source close to the development, Quest Ventures is targeting a $25-million first close. It is understood to have garnered interest from limited partners (LP) including two sovereign wealth funds, one of them based in Singapore. The source further added that one of these sovereign wealth funds will be signing an agreement to invest with the Singapore-based VC as soon as this weekend.

Quest Ventures first announced the launch of its $50-million early-stage Southeast Asian fund in March this year. The vehicle marks the first time the VC firm is raising capital from external LPs, having previously invested out of the personal capital of its managing partner, James Tan.

Tan is the co-founder of Nasdaq-listed Chinese e-commerce company 55tuan. After close to a decade in mainland China, Tan – a Singaporean – cashed out his stake to begin Quest Ventures in Singapore. Since 2010, Quest has added over 40 companies to its portfolio, including Carro, Carousell, 99.co, ShopBack, and Glife.

The VC has expanded steadily since. It appointed two partners in March – Goh Yiping and Jeffrey Seah – to manage the growth of its venture business. Both Goh and Seah have extensive experience starting and leading startups across Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Quest Ventures has previously said that it plans to invest in about 100 companies across the fund’s 10-year tenure, with ticket sizes between $500,000 and $1 million and scope for follow-on investments. It targets startups in Southeast Asia’s “digital economy” sector and sees potential in agritech, food chain supply, and logistics.

According to Quest Ventures’s website, the VC also runs innovation labs and corporate accelerators. It has also partnered with companies globally for their corporate venture capital arms. Its clients include Nissan, VMWare, Yahoo, HP, Tencent, and Coca Cola.

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.