Backed by Temasek, Wavemaker closes $66m venture fund for Southeast Asia

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

Early-stage venture capital firm Wavemaker Partners has closed its second south-east Asia-focused vehicle at $66 million, exceeding its target of $50 million by 32 per cent.

Singapore-based Temasek Holdings Pte, World Bank Group’s IFC, as well as prominent companies and family offices from the region have invested in the vehicle.

Wavemaker closed the round just a few days after AddVentures, the corporate venture capital (CVC) arm of Thailand-based business conglomerate Siam Cement Group (SCG), announced its investment in the company.

The combination of a differentiated strategy supported by a consistent run of results has enabled Wavemaker to attract the investors, IFC noted.

IFC’s $10-million investment in the fund is part of a wider effort to support early-stage entrepreneurship, innovation ecosystems, and drive growth in emerging markets in Asia.

“Wavemaker has taken a differentiated approach in Southeast Asia with more than 80 per cent of its investments made in seed stage business-to-business (B2B) and deep technology companies led by founders with deep domain expertise,” IFC said in its statement.

Wavemaker Partners has realized five exits over the last two years.

Within this new fund’s portfolio, significant follow-on investment rounds have already been raised. These portfolio of digital platform businesses include: Philippine-based financial services Coins.ph, cloud communications firm Wavecell, fashion marketplace Zilingo, and industry-specific payment solutions Red Dot Payment.

Future investments are said to focus on early-stage B2B and deep technology firms in Southeast Asia.

Three more Series B rounds are expected to close before the end of the year. Others have already achieved more than $3 million in annualized revenues. These include platform businesses, namely free-floating car sharing Smove, travel-focused loyalty Kaligo, intelligent marketing solutions provider Ematic, cross-border e-commerce ShopYourWorld, digital smart lock provider Igloohome, and expert knowledge sharing platform Lynk.

Wavemaker Partners Southeast Asia managing partner Paul Santos said he looks forward to the next phase of continuing to support the growth of the firm’s portfolio companies.

Founded in 2003 by Eric Manlunas, David Siemer, and Santos, Wavemaker Parters now has over $185 million of assets under management. The cross-border VC firm is headquartered in Los Angeles and Singapore.

Also Read:

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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.