Jungle Ventures closes $100M fund for startups in Southeast Asia

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Singapore’s Jungle Ventures today confirmed the final close of its newest $100 million fund for investments in Southeast Asia. The firm announced plans for the fund, which is its second, in September 2015 when it completed a first close.

It represents a big step up from the first debut $10 million, and with an increase in capital so Jungle Ventures is shifting its initial focus on seed-stage deals to Series A and Series B investments. The company is still very much involved in early stage startup work, but that is being handled by SeedPlus, a new fund it established in May of this year.

“This is a big step up for us and the region in general,” founding and managing partner Amit Anand — pictured up top with fellow founding and managing partner Anurag Srivastava — told TechCrunch in a phone interview. “[The new fund] is probably one of the largest in Southeast Asia for [startup] investing [and that’s] a signal of the ecosystem.

“The ecosystem has matured. In 2012 there were maybe 300 deals a year, now it’s anything between 2,000-3,000, that’s a big jump in just a few years. We always felt startups are under-capitalized here given the challenges they face on operations.”

Anand said that around three-quarters of the fund’s capital came from global institutional and family offices, particularly in Singapore and the U.S..

Jungle Ventures began spending the capital last year, and the plan is very much the same now that the full allocation is closed.

“Our critical entry point is Series A or sometimes early Series B, leading with a $3 million check and then doubling down with enough reserves for all these companies. We’re believers in ‘less is more’ [and will look to back] around 15 key portfolio companies,” Anand added.

For those wanting to keep count on large-scale funds operating between seed and Series B in Southeast Asia, some of the most notable include Venturra Capital ($150 million), Golden Gate Ventures ($50 million), Monk’s Hill Ventures ($80 million), and Convergence Ventures ($30 million).

While a number of the firms have stuck to their early-stage focus with a second, follow-up fund, Anand hinted that Jungle Venture’s harbors ambitions to be larger still in the future.

“It will be sad if we don’t practice what we preach [to our companies] and think big,” he said. “There are different stages of investing which require different approaches. We definitely view ourselves as a platform and hopefully there will be different funds that capture different opportunities in the market.”

Beyond its focus on companies in Southeast Asia, Jungle Ventures plans to continue to look at opportunities in India and, in addition, other parts of Asia Pacific where it can help startups expand into Southeast Asia.

The region is home to more than 600 million consumers, and, though it trails China and India on attention, internet access is tipped to grow massively thanks to growing sales of smartphones, which ruins counter in a general slowdown in the rest of the world. A report co-authored by Google tipped Southeast Asia’s ‘digital economy’ to grow to be worth $200 billion per year by 2025, so there’s plenty at stake.