Thailand: Singha Corp launches $25m VC fund to invest in series A rounds

The Singha beer logo is pictured at the Boon Rawd Brewery headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand October 12, 2017. REUTERS/Chayut Setboonsarng

Singha Corporation, the Thai conglomerate which owns Singha Beer, has rolled out a venture capital arm.

The new VC firm – Singha Ventures – will invest in Series A rounds of startups, and will be geography agnostic.

While Singha Ventures publically talked about its new venture capital arm only last week, it set up the venture in Hong Kong in mid-2017 with an initial registered capital of $25 million. It will focus on startups in three key industries, which are consumer products, supply chain management and logistics technologies, and enterprise solutions.

“We are always trying to expand our business capabilities for the organization’s long-term growth. Startup business is deemed as the the new S-Curve which meant business for the future because of its constant creation of new ideas, products and business model that fits with the current lifestyles of all people, resulting in surging growth in a small period of time,” Bhurit Bhirombhakdi, chairman of the executive board of Singha Ventures, said.

In 2017, the Singha Corporation also invested in two regional venture capital funds – Indonesia-based Kejora Ventures and Temasek-based Vertex Ventures.  It did not reveal how much it had invested in each of these vehicles

Kejora Ventures focuses on financial, logistics and organization technologies, while Vertex Ventures, the largest VC firm in the region, does Series A and upward rounds in Southeast Asia and India.

Bhirombhakdi said Singha’s investments in both these firms had so far generated returns of 2.5 to three times the initial investment but did not divulge details.

Vertex’s portfolio companies in the region include Grab, the largest ride-hailing app in Southeast Asia, which raised about $2.5 billion in its latest funding round, that was led by SoftBank and China’s Didi, making it the most valuable startup in this region.

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