Still plenty of room to play in SEA’s digital economy, says Quest Ventures’ Tan

Quest Ventures managing partner James Tan

Since 2010, Singapore-based venture capital firm Quest Ventures has been discreetly investing in e-commerce and internet economy startups in the region. Its portfolio today includes prominent names such as Carousell, Carro and ShopBack.

Through all this time, it has not needed to fundraise – until now.

Quest is lucky. It has a godfather – James Tan.

After close to a decade in China, Tan cashed out his stake in e-commerce company 55Tuan, packed his suitcase and returned home to Singapore.

“Because I’m a Singaporean, I wanted to do something in Singapore…By that time you had guys like 500 Startups who were all doing the same thing. My first investment was Burpple and that got the ball rolling,” said Tan.

That culminated into Quest Ventures, where Tan serves as the managing partner today. Through all that time, that 55Tuan pay-off has kept the firm comfortably afloat.

But Quest is nurturing big ambitions, requiring bigger capital.

The VC is now targeting an open fund of $50-100 million to invest in early-stage digital economy startups in Southeast Asia. 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 potential follow-on investments.

Continue reading this story with a subscription to DealStreetAsia.

Subscribe

Contact us for corporate subscriptions at subs@dealstreetasia.com.

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.