US-based Hustle Fund closes first $11.5m fund anchored by China’s Shanda, Line and Naver

Singapore buildings reflected on water. Photo: Shownen Kang/Unsplash

US-based Hustle Fund has closed its first fund of $11.5 million, anchored by China’s online gaming giant Shanda, Japan’s Line and Naver, South Korea’s largest search engine. Other investors include tech operators, founders and executives of Zappos, Optimizely and NerdWallet.

The pre-seed venture capital firm has also appointed a new managing partner to drive their focus on Southeast Asia.

Singapore-born Shiyan Koh joins Hustle Fund from NerdWallet, a US-based consumer finance business. Her previous stints also include Bridgewater Associates and Institutional Venture Partners, and has spent 18 years in Silicon Valley, growing a business from $1 million to $150 million in revenue.

Elizabeth Yin, co-founder, Hustle Fund said, “The Southeast Asia tech ecosystem market has grown over the last few years. Singapore in particular has played a key role in nurturing startups. We would like to have the opportunity to partner with founders who can execute with high velocity.”

Speaking on the fund, Tianqiao Chen, founder and Chairman of Shanda Group, said, “An important element of Shanda’s core mission and strategy is to support young talent – high performers who are entrepreneurial, innovative and solid in execution. The Hustle Fund’s team checked these criteria. Their determination and commitment to building a unique, early-stage VC business, and their strong partnership mentality with their Limited Partners (LPs) make our investment in Hustle Fund highly complementary.”

Hustle Fund targets pre-seed funds in software-enabled businesses, and has invested in 40 companies across the US and Canada since September 2017.

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.