The 640 million people-strong Southeast Asia region has been seeing a spate of deal activity on the back of strong investor and corporate interest from across the world. An expanding middle class and growing mobile penetration render the region extremely attractive to growth-hungry investors.
Mega deals from the region that have made headlines this year so far include Singapore-headquartered ride-hailing firm Grab closing a $2 billion round in July and Indonesia’s Go-Jek raising $1.2 billion in May. Other notable deals include a $550 million Series E into Singaporean gaming startup Sea, formerly known as Garena, and Indonesia’s Traveloka raising $500 million from investors including Expedia.
At the Asia PE-VC Summit 2017, we will go beyond the deal frenzy to understand how investors view this region — is this a single contiguous market or are there several smaller markets at play that call for tweaking of investment strategies and resetting of investor expectations?
Meet our panelists:
Co-founder & Managing Partner, East Ventures
One of the region’s most active investors and among its oldest early-stage VC firms, East Ventures closed its fifth fund worth $27.5 million earlier this year. Indonesia is a key market; the firm most recently backed a $500-million round in the archipelago’s online travel firm Traveloka.
CEO, Asia Pacific Internet Group (APACIG)
APACIG is a JV between Rocket Internet and Qatar’s Ooredoo. Focused on ecommerce, its portfolio includes 16 firms across the region such as household services website Helpling and budget hotel chain ZenRooms. Rocket Internet opened its first engineering hub in Asia early this year to support its startups.
Kay Mok Ku
Partner, Investment, Gobi Partners
Shanghai-based Gobi Partners, in partnership with Malaysia’s MAVCAP, is raising a $200 million Asean Growth fund. The vehicle, one of the largest in the region, has already secured three big names in the technology space as anchor investors — German electronics firm Bosch, US tech giant Cisco and consumer goods firm Unilever.
Founder and President, Kickstart Ventures
Kickstart Ventures is Philippine telco Globe Telecom’s wholly-owned corporate venture capital arm that funds early-stage digital startups, providing capital, mentoring, and market access. Its portfolio includes SaaS firms such as Kalibrr and Lenddo, ecommerce firms AVA and ZipMatch, and digital lifestyle brands such as Zap.
Managing Partner, Rakuten Ventures
The corporate VC arm of Japan’s ecommerce conglomerate Rakuten doubled its global fund size to $200 million last year. Ahn feels the differences in culture and geography and the overall economic divide in Southeast Asia could lead investors from developed markets to believe its fragmentation is harder to manage from a risk mitigation perspective.
Managing Director, Corporate Venture Capital, Digital Ventures
Thailand’s Digital Ventures, a fintech-focused venture capital subsidiary of Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), made its second direct investment earlier this year. Its funding in Hong Kong-based geolocation data startup Pulse iD came after it put in money in the US-based blockchain company Ripple in September last year.
Executives from Temasek, CDPQ, Hanwha, IFC and many more leading organisations have already registered for Asia PE-VC Summit 2017. Have you?