Tis the season to be raising in India and Southeast Asia. Hot on the heels of new funds from Strive and Jungle Ventures, so Singapore’s Vertex Ventures, a VC backed by sovereign wealth fund Temasek, today announced a first close of $230 million for its newest fund, the firm’s fourth to date.
Vertex raised $210 million for its previous fund two years ago, and this new vehicle is expected to make a final close over the coming few months with more capital expected to roll in. If you care about numbers, this fund may be the largest dedicated to Southeast Asia, although pedants would point out that the Vertex allocation also includes a focus on India, echoing the trend of funds bridging the two regions. There are also Singapore-based global funds that have raised more; for example, B Capital from Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin.
Back to Vertex; it’s worth recalling that the firm’s third fund was its first to raise from outside investors — having previously taken capital from parent Temasek. Managing partner Chua Kee Lock told Bloomberg that most of those LPs signed on for fund four, including Taiwan-based Cathay Life Insurance. Vertex said in a press release that it welcomed some new backers, but it did not provide names.
The firm has offices in Singapore, Jakarta and Bangalore and its most prominent investments include ride-hailing giant Grab, fintech startup InstaRem, IP platform PatSnap and Vision Fund-backed kids e-commerce firm FirstCry. Some of its more recent portfolio additions are Warung Pintar, which is digitizing Indonesia’s street kiosk vendors; Binance, which Vertex backed for its Singapore entity; and Thailand-based digital insurance play Sunday.
One differentiator that Vertex offers in Southeast Asia and India, beyond its ties to Temasek, is that there are connections with five other Vertex funds worldwide. Those include a new global growth fund, and others dedicated to global healthcare, as well as startups in Israel and the U.S.
Others VCs operating in Southeast Asia’s Series A/B+ bracket include Jungle Ventures, which just hit first close on a new fund aimed at $220 million; Openspace Ventures, which closed a $135 million fund earlier this year; Sequoia India and Southeast Asia, which raised $695 million last year; Golden Gate Ventures, which has a third fund of $100 million; and Insignia Ventures, which raised $120 million for its maiden fund.
Growth funds are also increasingly sprouting up. Early-stage investor East Ventures teamed up with Yahoo Japan and SMDV to launch a $150 million vehicle, while Golden Gate Ventures partnered with anchor LP Hanwha to raise a $200 million growth fund.