Indonesia-based early-stage investment firm Kejora has announced the first close of a second fund which is targeted at $80 million for investments in Southeast Asia.
Kejora, which is known for its Ideabox accelerator program in Jakarta, has secured one-third of its target, with investment from LPs that include Indonesia’s Barito Pacific Group, Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Family and Hubert Burda Media.
The fund is focused on serving pre-Series A and Series A rounds in Southeast Asia with $2 million to $5 million commitments towards each startup. Founding partner Sebastian Togelang revealed that already it has invested in six companies.
“We are looking for companies that are scalable and solving big problems that the large population of Southeast Asia are having. We like founders who are experienced and have the potential to solve the vision and problem, and the ambition to scale to be number one in the region,” Togelang told TechCrunch.
Its initial investments include fintech companies C88Fintech Group, MoneyTable and Investree, HR startup Qareer Group Asia, delivery service Etobee, and Saas startup Pawoon.
Kejora’s team, left to right: Andy Zain (Managing Partner), Barry Pangestu (Advisory Committee), Sebastian Togelang (Founding Partner), Chatchaval Jiaravanon (Advisory Committee), Phengpian Laogumnerd (Venture Partner), Tridbodi Arunanondchai (Venture Partner)
The firm’s first fund focused on seed stage deals but now, with plenty more capital available for early stage startups today versus two or three years ago, it has moved down the channel. The pre-Series A focus makes plenty of strategic sense since there is a difficult bridge for startups to cross from seed to Series A, which many are finding tricky in Southeast Asia.
Beyond providing money and mentoring, the company is opening operational locations across Southeast Asia to give its portfolio local, on-the-ground expertise and guidance for entering new markets. Right now, it has bases in Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and of course Indonesia.
“We learned a lot and want to come to the next level, we want to give added value to founders that have learned and see what they are doing,” Togelang said.
Togelang said the fund is likely to complete a full close in nine to twelve months.
Southeast Asia is becoming an increasingly attractive market for investors. Beyond a cumulative population of over 600 million, smartphone sales are bucking a global downturn and steadily increasing which brings more of the region’s population online and opens the potential for startups. Southeast Asia’s digital economy is tipped to grow by more than six-fold to reach $200 billion per year by 2025, according to a report co-authored by Google.
Kejora’s new fund comes hot on the heels of a new vehicle for prolific seed stage firm East Ventures, which is also in Jakarta. Other Series A investors in Southeast Asia include Monks’ Hill Ventures, Venturra Capital, Jungle Ventures, Golden Gate Ventures, and Convergence Ventures.