Southeast Asia-focused early-stage investor Expara Ventures is set to launch a $30-million vehicle, Expara Ventures IV, to invest in its core markets of Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam, a top executive with the firm told DEALSTREETASIA.
“Expara will make the first close of the fund in the fourth quarter this year, with the final close set for the first quarter of 2019,” said Expara founder and CEO Douglas Abrams.
Expara will also look to make investments from its latest fund in companies acting as a bridge between its core Southeast Asia markets and select North Asia markets such as South Korea and Hong Kong.
Expara Ventures IV will follow Expara Asia Ventures I (EAV1), an accelerator-stage fund. “EAV1 invests $10-50K in companies at the accelerator stage, including companies that go through our own accelerators and accelerators that we work with,” Abrams said.
He also disclosed that the fund has made five investments so far, including in four med-tech startups in Thailand and one tech startup in Singapore.
Founded by Abrams – a venture capitalist, entrepreneur, angel investor and educator who has been investing, venturing, and teaching in Singapore since 2000 – Expara is present across the spectrum from incubation, early-stage venture capital, entrepreneurship, VC to innovation training.
The VC has invested in nearly 40 firms around Southeast Asia. It runs two incubator funds – Expara IDM Ventures and Expara IDM Ventures II — as well as Extream Ventures, a joint venture fund with Upstream.
Other vehicles include Expara Ventures III launched in 2015 that had closed 21 investments as of 2017. The investment firm also manages venture-funded accelerators in Vietnam and Thailand. In 2015, it partnered with Microsoft to launch the CLAS – Expara Vietnam Accelerator and collaborated with Saigon Innovation Hub (SIHUB) to launch Expara SIHUB Accelerator Express Program.
Expara has seen 16 startups graduate from its first two accelerators in Vietnam.
Last year, Expara Thailand was selected as the manager for SMEs Private Equity Trust Fund by the Government Savings Bank (GSB) of Thailand.