Southeast Asia-based VCs raising larger funds than ever before

Fueled by the success of some of the early investments in the region which has helped scale many companies including six unicorns, venture capital firms based in Southeast Asia are raising larger than before funds.

While some of VCs closing big funds are established players, the region has also witnessed the entry of new players seeking to raise mega funds of $100 million or more to drive the startup ecosystem. Combined, these funds add up to a total of more than $4 billion.

With most of the funds targeting startups based in Southeast Asia, continued rapid growth in the regional ecosystem and the digital economy as a whole can be expected.

In fact, according to a recent study by Google and Temasek, the Southeast Asian digital economy is worth around $50 billion as of 2017, and is expected to grow to an estimated $200 billion by 2025. To reach this, the region would need to $40-$50 billion of investment in a decade.

Over the past year, the markets that have seen the biggest growth, driven by large funding in respective sectors, include online travel, online media, e-commerce and ride-hailing, the report said.

Going forward, another sector that can potentially join the group and emerge as one of the most attractive for investment is fintech, which has started to see large VC capital being injected into some of its startups in the region.

These sectors will continue to be the targets for VCs, particularly those that have raised mega funds that will be looking to back startups that are potentially on their way up to be the next Southeast Asia unicorn, following the feat of Grab, Go-Jek, Traveloka, Tokopedia, SEA group, Lazada and Bukalapak.

Among the established VCs that have recently raised large funds are Singapore-based VC firms Vickers Venture Partners with its $230 million fifth fund, Vertex Ventures with its $210 million third Southeast Asia fund and Jungle Ventures, which recently raised $150 million.

However, some of the biggest funds in Southeast Asia are actually being managed by newcomers looking to take the VC game by storm.

At $360 million, the biggest fund raised so far by a Southeast Asia-based VC firm is the maiden fund of B Capital, a Singapore-based firm led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin. Then there is also Grab’s newly launched VC arm, Grab Ventures, which recently announced an allocation of $250 million of fund to be invested in Indonesian startups alone.

Other new players raising big money for their maiden funds include Indonesia’s Sinarmas-backed Lattitude Ventures, which has raised $200 million, and also VinaCapital Ventures, the $100 million venture capital arm of  VinaCapital, one of the largest investment and asset management firms in Vietnam.

Below is the full list of 20 of the biggest funds raised by Southeast Asia-based VCs:

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