Wavemaker to close $50m SEA fund; Indonesia to be main driver

Left: Paul Santos, managing partner of Wavemaker. Right: Tim Draper

Venture capital firm Wavemaker Partners on Thursday announced that it is finalizing a close on its Southeast Asia-focussed $50 million fund, its second for the region and fifth overall, with Indonesia as the main driver.

Managing partner Paul Santos told this portal that the fund has been deployed to about 40 companies. In total, the firm is hoping to hit 80 startups, injecting seed to pre-series A fundings.

“We are still going to focus on the B2B and B2B2C space across all sectors,” Santos said.

The firm has at least 10 portfolio companies that count Indonesia as a key market and is looking to invest more in the country.

Wavemaker has reported at least five successful exits in the last two years which include Luxola (acquired by LVMH) and Pie (acquired by Google).

Started in 2003 by entrepreneurs who have built notable businesses in the US, Wavemaker has invested in over 54 companies. Wavemaker is also the Southeast Asian representative of the Draper Venture Network (DVN).

DVN was formed in 1990 as a self-governed organization of independent venture funds that cooperate on investment diligence, marketing intelligence, corporate relationships, and co-investments.

Tim Draper shifts focus to Indonesia

The event also marked US venture capitalist Tim Draper’s  debut visit to Indonesia this week. The 58-year old investor – who also co-founded Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) and Draper Associates – is known for investments in some of the largest tech companies in the world, like Hotmail, Skype, Twitch, Baidu, Cruise Automation, and Tesla.

“I’m here to meet founders and investors, learn more about the country and share some of the lessons I’ve learned on scaling startups. I’d love to find more deals to invest in together with WaveMaker and leverage DVN to help them grow,” Draper said in a statement to the press.

“There are so many things going for Indonesia with its fast GDP growth fuelled by a large, young, digitally-savvy population, an increasingly skilled workforce and burgeoning middle class. It’s a great environment to scale startups,” he added.

Draper appears to be shifting his attention from China to Indonesia, noting that the latter is now going through the same phase of tech revolution like the former. He is particularly excited to talk about cryptocurrency such as Bitcoins, believing that it’s just a matter of time before Indonesia makes that big jump from banking to virtual currency.

“Bitcoins are providing liquidity that none of the governments right now are able to provide. As it grows the value will keep going up. It’s going to happen here (in Indonesia) and I’m still incredibly bullish,” he said.

Draper spent a few days in Indonesia to meet with the country’s unicorn startup, Go-Jek, as well as other tech firms backed by Wavemaker Partners. Draper is also one of the LPs for Wavemaker’s latest $50 million fund.

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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.