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.