Exclusive: Singapore’s NSI Ventures to raise $150m second fund

The NSI Ventures team. Source: NSI website

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 HaloDocSingapore’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. 

Also Read:

Asian deals prop up global VC activity to record highs in Q2

As fund sizes increase, Asia-focused VCs hold one-third of global dry powder

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.