Temasek-backed Vertex Ventures SEA and India raise US$541 mil in fifth fund raising round

The amount has exceeded the fund’s target size of US$450 million.

Temasek-backed Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India (VVSEAI) has raised US$541 million ($736.8 million) in its fifth fund raising, exceeding its originally target size of US$450 million.

The VVSEAI Fund V is 80% larger than the VVSEAI Fund IV, which was raised in 2019.

VVSEAI invests in high-growth startups seeking their early round of institutional venture capital funding in Southeast Asia and India, with a primary focus on Singapore, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and other emerging hubs across the region.

Its latest fundraise follows the strong cash-on-cash returns from its portfolio. This includes other successful exits from its investments in NASDAQ-listed Grab, IPO-bound FirstCry, XPressBees and Recko among others.

The latest fund is backed by existing and new limited partners including sovereign wealth funds, financial institutions, corporates and family offices across Asia and Europe.

The fund corpus includes a dedicated co-investment envelope of US$50 million for co-investing alongside the main fund in startups led by women founders. More than 35% of the startups in VVSEAI Fund IV have at least one woman founder and this envelope will be used to further the fund’s intention of supporting more women entrepreneurs.

The fund’s new limited partners include Japan Investment Corporation (JIC), World Bank member International Finance Corporation (IFC) and DEG (German Development Finance Institution).

“Our earlier funds have had superior cash-on-cash returns and are outperforming benchmarks. This track record led most of our investors from VVSEAI Fund IV to return as investors in VVSEAI Fund V and increase their allocation. In addition, we expanded our total investor base significantly and are happy to welcome all our limited partners,” says Ben Mathias, managing partner of Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India.

“We continue to be bullish about the tech startup opportunities in this region as we see the ecosystem evolving deeper and becoming more mature. We have been an early, and in many cases, the first institutional investor in successful Southeast Asian and Indian startup companies. Our investment approach has always been, and will continue to be – investing selectively and judiciously,” adds Chua Joo Hock, managing partner of Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India. “We do not believe in being a prolific investor, but in closely partnering founders and supporting them throughout their journey through ups or downs. This approach has enabled us to build unicorns including Grab, PatSnap, Nium, FirstCry, XpressBees and Licious.”

“IFC is a unique investor in venture capital in that we partner with funds to help us identify direct investment opportunities that can have the biggest development impact. We are the largest global development institution focused on boosting private sector investments in emerging markets. We are delighted to partner with Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India to help scale innovative businesses and bring more consumers online, especially in South and Southeast Asia, where many countries are among the most underserved by global venture capital,” says William Sonneborn, global director of disruptive technologies, creative industries and funds at the IFC.

“We are pleased with the progress of Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India especially its support of startups with women founders. While our focus is investing in regional champions, this parallel fund provides the additional resources to reaffirm our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion,” says Rohit Sipahimalani, Temasek’s chief investment officer (CIO) and board member of Vertex Holdings.

Companies within the VVSEAI portfolio include Nium, Licious, KukuFM and PatSnap.

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