Series B gap a pain point in SE Asia from a Silicon Valley perspective: Rakuten

Series B gap a pain point in SE Asia from a Silicon Valley perspective: Rakuten

Rakuten Ventures managing partner Saemin Ahn. Photo: Rakuten Today

The investment thesis for Rakuten Ventures – which late last year doubled its Global Investment Fund to $200 million – is not based on synergies with the group’s Japan-based ecommerce parent. Rather, the firm is a true-blue corporate VC that only commits capital into companies that can be profitable and can have a global play, Saemin Ahn, its managing partner, said in an interaction with DEALSTREETASIA.

“For us, our core has not been geography. I’ve been saying to everyone that I would invest in a pig farm if it was profitable. I’ve been saying that for a year and now I’ve seen Meituan.com and Sinovation Ventures invest in it. And now I’ll say that I’ll invest in a bamboo plantation if it’s profitable. That’s what I’m saying from now on,” Ahn said.

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