Vertex Ventures, the venture capital arm of Singapore-based Temasek Holdings has finally closed its Southeast Asia and India fund (SEA III) at $210 Mn. The fund got closed at a 40% higher value from the original target of $150 Mn.
SEA III is the first fund with external investors. It includes investors such as Thailand’s Kasikornbank (KBank), and Taiwan’s Cathay Life Insurance Co. All the previous funds were fully backed by Temasek, a Singapore-based investment firm.
As per a Reuters report, Vertex will use its Southeast Asia fund to invest in early-stage tech companies in Southeast Asia and India. The preferred sectors to invest the Southeast Asia fund will be enterprise technology, financial technology, and consumer internet.
The new fund will also leverage KBank’s expertise and network for the same. The Bangkok-based bank has recently set up Beacon Venture Capital to invest in VC funds and promising startups.
At present, the Vertex Ventures team combines personnel from Southeast Asia and India and operates out of Singapore, Bengaluru, and Jakarta. “In addition to our current offices, we will expand our presence to other SEA cities in the near future to better access local opportunities,” Joo Hock Chua, Managing Partner, said in a media statement.
Also, as Kee Lock Chua, Managing Partner, Vertex SEA/India, said in a statement, earlier this year, Vertex Ventures seems quite optimistic of the fund’s performance in Southeast Asia and India. “We have seen a sharp increase in capital being deployed in startups in this region, growing from $100 Mn in 2008 to $2.5 Bn in 2015. Over 50% of this is invested in Singapore-incorporated startups. With more countries like Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia accelerating their support for the startup and VC ecosystem, we are confident that this region will continue to see significant growth,” he said.
The new fund comes close on the heels of several successful investments in Vertex’s previous portfolios. Most notable is the recent $2.5 Bn fund raising of Southeast Asia’s biggest ride-hailing startup Grab.
Here’s a look at some of its recent investments and the current portfolio:
- Invested in the $5 Mn Series A funding round of Bengaluru-based omnichannel platform Ace Turtle in May this year.
- Invested in Bengaluru-based IoT startup Flutura Decision Sciences and Analytics in its $7.5 Mn Series A funding, along with Lumis Partners and existing investor, The Hive in February this year.
- In September 2016, Vertex Ventures had invested in SaaS-based customer experience management platform CloudCherry in its $6 Mn Series A funding round alongside Cisco Investments and IDG Ventures India.
With the $210 Mn Southeast Asia and India fund, Vertex Ventures is again on the lookout for a billion dollar startup just like Grab. Will India win the opportunity this time?