Ex-Google angel syndicate XA Network invests in Vertex Ventures SEA’s $305m fourth fund

Vertex Ventures. Photographer: Sam Kang Li/Bloomberg

XA Network, formerly known as Xoogler Angels, has invested an undisclosed sum in Vertex Ventures’s $305-million fourth Southeast Asia and India fund. This is XA Network’s first participation as a limited partner (LP) in a venture capital firm.

According to a statement, this strategic partnership will grant Vertex Ventures access to XA’s deep tech expertise and vast talent network to support its investments and portfolio companies. In return, XA Network’s members are also offered an opportunity to invest in Series A and B stage opportunities which is Vertex SEA’s fund focus.

Marek Dawidowicz, an XA Network team member and APAC Creator & Artist Marketing Lead at Youtube said that XA is open to becoming an LP in other VC funds in Southeast Asia. He added that while the purpose of participating in Vertex’s fund is to diversify investment options for its members, pre-seed and seed investments will continue to be the key focus for the angel syndicate.

The XA Network was formed in 2018 and comprises about 60 former Google employees who continue to serve as senior executives in prominent technology firms such as Microsoft, Netflix, Apple, Amazon Web Services, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and PayPal.

XA Network deploys ticket sizes of between $50,000 and $300,000 in Southeast Asian companies with a valuation size of $5 million and below. So far, it has deployed roughly $3 million across its portfolio of 17 startups which include names like Tigerhall, Pencil and Neuron Mobility.

The XA Network usually conducts investments directly via its members or through special purpose vehicles. In other to keep some skin in the game, every XA member is required to invest in at least one company and an additional minimum amount every year to maintain its membership in the network.

According to Dawidowicz, the XA Network is completely self-funded and does not operate its own fund as most VC firms do. The team has no immediate plans to grow into an independent fund.

“We are delighted to have XA as an LP,” said Joo Hock Chua, Managing Partner at Vertex Ventures SEA and India. “XA members have deep and diverse expertise in tech, marketing and operations. We certainly look forward to working with them closely to help our portfolio grow.”

Vertex Ventures closed its oversubscribed $305-million fourth Southeast Asia and India fund in September last year. The fund is backed by LPs including sovereign wealth funds, financial institutions, corporates and family offices from Asia and Europe.

The Temasek-backed venture firm targets a range of sectors across enterprise technology, financial technology and consumer internet and has about 30 portfolio companies including Grab, Patsnap, Validus, Tickled Media, FirstCry, Warung Pintar and Nium.

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.