Thailand’s Singha invests in Temasek’s Vertex, Kejora’s venture capital funds

Vertex Ventures. Photographer: Sam Kang Li/Bloomberg

Thailand’s new venture capital firm Singha Ventures said it had invested a total of $25 million in Vertex Ventures, the VC arm of Temasek Holdings, and Indonesia’s Kejora Ventures.

This makes Singha the second investor from Thailand in the latest funds of both Vertex Ventures and Kejora.

Singha said it had made these investments last year, even as it formally launched Singha Ventures last week. The investment arm of Thai conglomerate Singha Corporation will focus on investments locally and globally in consumer products, supply chain management and logistical technologies, and enterprise solutions.

Vertex Ventures had last year revealed raising funding from Thailand’s Kasikornbank Pcl and Taiwan’s Cathay Life Insurance in its third Southeast Asia-focused fund, which had made a final close of $210 million in October 2017, exceeding its target of $150 million. This marked the first time that Vertex, the oldest venture capital firm in Southeast Asia, had raised capital from external investors. Its previous two Southeast Asia funds were completely funded by parent Temasek.

Incidentally, just like Singha, Bangkok-based Kasikornbank Pcl had also set up its investment arm – Beacon Venture Capital –  with an initial corpus of THB 1 billion last year to invest in VC funds and promising startups. Kasikornbank has also invested in Singapore-based fintech focused VC firm Dymon Asia that has been targeting to raise $50 million for its first fund.

Beacon VC focuses on strategic investments in early to growth-stage technology startups in fintech, consumer lifestyle and deep technology sectors such as artificial intelligence (AI) and enterprise IT. The VC firm’s portfolio includes digital lifestyle platform Ookbee, event management company Event Pop and online accounting SaaS firm FlowAccount.

Kejora, meanwhile, is an early-stage Indonesia-based venture capital firm that is currently targeting to raise $80 million for its second vehicle, Kejora Star Capital II Fund. Its backers or limited partners (LPs) include Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group and Germany’s Hubert Burda Media. Founded in 2014, its portfolio includes P2P lending marketplace Investree, logistics solutions provider Etobee, digital marketing solutions provider bDigital (now Heroleads) and P2P lending and equity crowdfunding startup Crowdo.

Kejora has also partnered with South Korean venture capital firm InterVest to raise a $100-million Southeast Asia fund. In December 2017, the two firms had announced a first close of the fund, having secured more than half of their targeted corpus.

Flush with cash, Thai enterprises are increasingly becoming investors in technology companies locally and globally. Last year, Thai real estate firm Sansiri announced an $80-million investment across six global technology and lifestyle brands in a bid to move beyond realty into technology-enabled next-generation living. The six brands include boutique hotel brand Standard International, Singapore-based co-working space operator JustCo and smart indoor farming company Farmshelf.

Thai conglomerate PTT Group was also reported to be considering a $45-million corporate venture arm last year.

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.