Vertex Ventures, the venture capital arm of Singapore-based investment company Temasek Holdings, has made the first close of its fourth South-East Asia and India-focused fund, at $230 million.The early-stage investment firm, which counts Temasek and Cathay Financial as anchor investors in its latest investment vehicle, is targeting a final corpus of $280 million, according to Ben Mathias, managing partner and India head of Vertex Ventures.
The announcement comes even as a host of investment firms with a strong India focus have also announced the initial closes of their new funds, or have announced their intentions of raising new pools of capital, as investment activity in the region continues to be on an upward curve.
In April, ET was the first to report that Jungle Ventures, the Singapore-based venture capital firm, had made the first close of its third fund, estimated at about $175 million. Temasek has also come on board as an anchor investor in Jungle Ventures’ third fund, which anticipates closing the same at $220 million.
“We were happy with the strong interest we received from investors towards deploying capital in startups in this region. In addition to Singapore and India, countries like Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia have accelerated their support for the startup and venture capital ecosystem,” Kee Lock Chua, managing partner of Vertex SEA and India, said in a statement.Singapore-headquartered Vertex Ventures, which also has offices in Bengaluru and Jakarta, has primarily focused on placing bets in the financial services, enterprise, and consumer internet sectors.
“We will continue to be Series-A investors, writing cheques of between $2-$6 million…We anticipate investing in about 30 companies from Fund-IV,” Mathias told ET.
The investment firm is yet to deploy capital from the new fund, which looks at investments across the region, except China, and continues to invest from Fund-III, the $210 million investment vehicle it closed in 2017.
Fund-III, was also first the South-east Asian fund to bring in external limited partners as investors. Historically, Temasek, through Vertex Venture Holdings, has been the sole backer in both of Vertex’s investment vehicles for the region.
From Fund-III, Vertex had invested in fish meat and seafood brand Licious, digital lending venture Kissht and mobile app management platform Hansel.io.
From its 2010 and 2014 vintage funds, it has backed Nasdaq-listed Yatra, the country’s second-largest online travel operator and online baby products retailer FirstCry, and logistics company XpressBees, among others.