Venture capital is a form of financing provided by venture capital firms to early- or late-stage companies, depending on the firm’s specialization; there are also some firms who are stage-agnostic. Venture capital firms invest in these companies in exchange for equity. Venture capital proves to be high-risked, as they invest in emerging products or technologies with massive potential to scale but aren’t profitable yet with two thirds chance of failure. At the same time, VC can also be high-rewarded, depending on how successful their portfolio startups will be.
Southeast Asia has been seen as a good tech industry market for the past 10 years, where many emerging startups offer innovative tech-abled products. Even Indonesia, with only 13% internet coverage in 2009, has now grown to be potentially a good market to invest in, having produced 4 unicorn startups (Traveloka, OVO, Bukalapak, and Tokopedia) and one decacorn company (Gojek). It leads to many venture capital firms having started their journey in Southeast Asia. Here are eight most active venture capital firms in Southeast Asia according to Vantage Capital Partners data.
Alpha JWC Ventures
Alpha JWC Ventures is a Southeast Asia venture capital firm with an Indonesia+ angle and a focused value-add approach. Alpha JWC Ventures was founded in 2015 by Founding Partners Jefrey Joe, Chandra Tjan, and Will Ongkowijaya as Indonesia’s first independent and institutional early-stage venture capital Indonesia. Since then, Alpha JWC Ventures has made several notable investments, such as Kredivo, Bobobox, Lemonilo, and Kopi Kenangan.
500 Durian is a part of 500 Startups focusing on Southeast Asia region. They have more than 150 portfolio companies by the start of 2020. Founded by Dave McClure and Christine Tsai, 500 Startups has made notable investments in the past years, including but not limited to Grab, Canva, Bukalapak, Udemy, and Credit Karma. Beyond providing seed capital, 500 Startups also has Seed Accelerator Programs, emphasizing in digital marketing, customer acquisition, lean startup practices, and fundraising for pre-Seed startups.
SGInnovate is a venture catalyst, focusing on Deep Tech companies to tackle challenging global problems. Founded in 2016 by Steve Leonard, SGInnovate now has more than 80 portfolio companies. They work with entrepreneurial scientists to help build and scale deep tech products out of science research.
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Sequoia Capital is among the top venture capital firms in the world, investing in startups at the growth stage and above. In 2018, they launched Surge for early-stage startups based on–or building for–India and Southeast Asia. Data from Vantage Capital Partners shows that Sequoia Capital has funded 11 SEA startups in 2019, making it the 4th most active VC in Southeast Asia.
Insignia Ventures Partners
Insignia Ventures Partner is an early stage technology venture capital firm focusing on startups across Southeast Asia. Insignia Ventures Partner was founded in 2017 by Yinglan Tan, former venture partner in Sequoia Capital. They now have several notable portfolio companies, including Shipper, Janio, and Logivan.
Wavemaker Partners is an early-stage venture capital firm, headquartered in Los Angeles and Singapore. They were founded in 2003 and have invested in over 200 portfolio companies. Wavemaker Partners focuses on enterprise and deep technology companies in Southeast Asia. They have invested in more than 80 companies in the region, including Moka, Glints, KrAsia, and Zilingo.
Global Founders Capital
Global Founders Capital a global oriented and stage agnostic venture capital firm. They back companies across all stages and throughout the lifecycle. Founded in 2013 by Oliver Samwer and have invested in 403 companies (source: www.crunchbase.com) with 35 exits. Among their many portfolio companies are Trivago, Lazada, Traveloka, Facebook, Canva, and Linkedin.
Golden Gate Ventures
Golden Gate Ventures is a Southeast Asia focused venture capital firm, established in 2011. They have invested in over 45 companies across more than 7 countries in Asia, focusing on internet & mobile startups across many sectors, including e-commerce, payments, marketplaces, mobile applications, and SaaS platforms.