From behemoth Mega Funds to unprecedented levels of capital injection over various series of growth, the Venture Capital (VC) space is often first-to-mind when entrepreneurs of today seek funding for their enterprise. Mirroring Silicon Valley and rapidly emerging from regional hub status to world-class standards, Singapore has proven itself to be ahead of the curve in the game , growing its esteemed list of notable locally based VC Managers over the span of the last several years.
Sheer growth of the industry aside, investees are often limited to a Google search in their fund-seeking process – unaware of the many nuances that come with looking for investors that are a right fit. In our first post on our Investment series, we take a look at 6 rapidly emerging VC firms that are propelling the industry forward across high-growth potential sectors:
1. Gobi Partners
Managing 11 funds with a focus on tech-related companies in China and Southeast Asia, their portfolio includes the likes of 36KR, China’s most popular, influential and leading digital media company that’s touted to become the Internet’s Wall Street Journal. Gobi Partner ’s focus is heavily steeped in hypothesis-based investing, focusing on Seed, Early-stage as well as Later-stage funding.
2. Vertex Partners
Typically investing in Series-A rounds, Vertex both leads and co-invests with other value-add investors across the Indian and Southeast Asian markets. The company’s website describes its average investee as being young and energetic high-growth start-ups who are poised to capitalise on rapidly developing markets, disruptive technologies with tremendous growth potential, and the broader trends accelerating Asia’s growth and transformation. Among the firm’s notable investments is locally based regional ride-sharing company Grab as well as the household name Reebonz – a leading company in online & member-exclusive private sales for luxury fashion merchandise in the Asia Pacific.
3. B Capital
Investing in B2B startups across consumer enablement, financial services & insurance, health & wellness, and industrial & transportation, the company invests primarily in Series B and has a strong focus on bridging the gap between startups and corporates, creating win-win scenarios by pairing pioneering technology leaders with global corporates. Co-founded by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, B Capital has already invested in companies of the likes of parcel delivery service Ninja Van and Cloud Enterprise Management Software company icertis.
4. Openspace Ventures
Typically investing in Series A and B stages, Openspace Ventures focuses on early-stage B2C and B2B technologies (predominantly in Southeast Asia) that are accessing local, regional and global markets. Closing its Second Fund in late 2018 with total subscriptions accepted up to US$135 million, the company’s investments include Indonesian ride sharing giant Gojek as well as real-time restaurant-reservation booking platform Chope.
5. Mistletoe Inc
Led by serial entrepreneur and billionaire Taizo Son, Mistletoe Inc is a Collective Impact Community with a mission to re-create a sustainable human-centred future using technology. With a mission to solve global social challenges that humanity will face in the near future as well as to create impactful movements around the globe, the company’s portfolio spans 14 countries with substantial investments in the startup world, venture funds as an LP as well as non-profit organisations.
6. Golden Equator Capital
Managing a series of funds across asset classes and specialising in Series A and B funding, Golden Equator Capital recently also announced the launch of the US$88m GEC-KIP Fund, in partnership with Korea Investment Partners (KIP). Having the added advantage of being part of the Golden Equator Group, its investee companies benefit from the Group’s network of like-minded professionals with a focus on investing for the future by building financial, human and technology capital. Among the VC’s portfolio companies are Singapore’s leading PropTech marketplace Ohmyhome and diversified media group M17 Entertainment – that also runs the highly successful dating applications –Paktor, GoodNight and Down.
And there we have it, 6 investment firms with a local presence that are always on the lookout for new companies to add to their growing portfolios of growth-stage companies. Before you pitch to a prospective company, it is important to understand that the VC model revolves around a partnership agreement, one where value is quantified by the guidance, support and mentoring received – going far beyond the dollar value of the investment. Stay tuned for our other articles in this series on Investments, speaking to industry experts and looking deeper into the sector to address many of the concerns that fund seekers have when it comes to finding the right investor fit.