Despite taking a drubbing by the coronavirus pandemic, Southeast Asia continues to be one of the most exciting markets in the world to build a tech-enabled business, said a senior executive at Australia’s largest pensions-backed venture capital firm.
Square Peg Capital recently raised $270 million from investors including pension funds AustralianSuper Pty and Host-Plus Pty ahead of the first close of its latest set of funds. The capital raise makes it Australia’s largest venture firm, with more than A$1 billion ($695 million) under management.
“Every crisis creates opportunities and some of the tech leaders of today emerged during earlier crises. We think that the next decade will be a great one for venture investing, as more exceptional people look to build exciting tech businesses,” Square Peg partner Tushar Roy told DealStreetAsia.
Founded in 2012 by Paul Bassat, Tony Holt, Justin Liberman, and Barry Brott, Square Peg Capital is raising two funds – Fund III, which invests at Series A and B stages across Southeast Asia, Australia, and Israel, and Opportunities Fund 1, which invests in later-stage rounds of its portfolio companies.
Roy said the VC firm continues to invest and remains committed to its plan of establishing a Southeast Asia office in Singapore. Square Peg struck five new deals so far this year, including two in Southeast Asia. It made three investments in the last quarter alone.
“We typically make 5-10 new investments a year, so we are still in line with that. We have also been active in following-on into our portfolio companies,” Roy said.
Roy talked about the challenges and opportunities caused by the pandemic, fundraising activities in Australia and Southeast Asia, and Square Peg’s early investment in tech unicorn Canva.
Edited excerpts of an interview: