Singapore-based venture capital (VC) firm NSI Ventures has kicked off the process to raise a $150-million fund, according to two people, including one of the firm’s limited partners, aware of the development.
This will be the firm’s second fund after its inaugural $90-million fund that it had raised in 2015, and will put it among the largest vehicles in this region behind Vickers Ventures that is currently raising a $250 million fifth fund, which has a $400 million upper limit, or hard cap, and Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd (MAVCAP) and Shanghai-based Gobi Partners that are jointly raising a $200-million Asean Growth fund.
When contacted by DEALSTREETASIA, NSI did not comment on the development.
NSI Ventures is part of private equity firm Northstar Group that manages five funds and has over $2 billion in assets under management.
The VC arm invests in early-stage technology companies based in Southeast Asia at Series A and B stages. Its focus areas include consumer applications, fintech, cloud software and smart hardware. Northstar, which is the anchor investor in its first vehicle, is slated to take on this role for the second fund too. Other investors in its first vehicle include Singapore’s state investment firm Temasek Holdings.
NSI Ventures has so far invested in 15 companies, including Indonesia’s ride-hailing startup Go-Jek, telemedicine platform HaloDoc, Singapore’s online restaurant booking app Chope, healthtech firm CXA Group and Myanmar’s Oway Ride.
The Northstar Group formed NSI Ventures in 2014. The venture capital firm is led by Shane Chesson and Hian Goh. Chesson spent more than a decade covering the technology space as an investment banker. Goh is a former entrepreneur best known for setting up the Asian Food Channel, which was later sold to Scripps Interactive for an undisclosed amount.
There has been a surge in venture capital activity focused on Asia. According to data from Preqin, Asia-focused VC funds were seeking the most capital as compared to other regions at around $62 billion as at April this year.
In fact, record levels of activity in the Asian region in the second quarter this year drove the VC-backed deal market to record its largest ever quarter at $47 billion. Asia, which witnessed deals worth $22 billion being announced in Q2, accounted for almost half the global total.
Some of the new large VC vehicles focused on the region include CapBridge’s $100-million fund and former entrepreneur and now angel investor Nandan Nilekani and Helion Ventures founder Sanjeev Aggarwal’s $100-million The Fundamentum Partnership.