Southeast Asian venture capital firm, East Ventures, is eyeing for more than 10 companies to fund until the end of this year - Photo by East Ventures

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Southeast Asian venture capital firm, East Ventures, is eyeing for more than 10 companies to fund until the end of this year, the director said Monday (10/07). To date, East Ventures has supported more than 300 startup founders and helped develop more than 160 startups including two Indonesian unicorn startups of around US$4 billion.

“Strategy until the end of this year, East Ventures is looking for new start-ups or reinvestments in existing portfolios. There are still more than 10 start-ups whose investments are in the process until the end of the year. The start-up criteria invested by East Ventures is to have a solid founding team in the market with great potential, “said Batara Eto, Managing Partner of East Ventures in Jakarta yesterday.

Eto explained East Ventures is open to all vertical start-up and early-stage funding. But in 2019, East Venture will focus on new retail, e-commerce enabler, fintech, and digital solutions for small and medium enterprises. However, he did not specify the total investment that had been disbursed to the start-ups. Likewise, the start-up target will be invested until the end of this year.

“To date, East Ventures has invested in more than 160 startups in Indonesia, which in total have received more than $4 billion in further investment funds, excluding investments received by Singapore-based ride-hailing firm Grab,” Eto added.

With these investments, East Ventures naturally contributes to the formation of digital infrastructure in the country. Last year, the firm also cemented its commitment to continuously support its portfolio companies and to build the digital infrastructure of Indonesia with the launching of its $200 million joint growth fund, EV Growth.

Two months ago, East Ventures announced has closed its sixth fund at $75 million, with support by prominent startup founders helping to surpass the fund’s initial $30 million targets.

Those investors include Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, Alibaba co-founder Eddy Wu, Meituan-Dianping chief executive Wang Xing, Dianping founder Zhang Tao, and Razer Inc co-founder Kaling Lim. Institutional investors include Temasek, the Singapore government-owned investment firm, Pavilion Capital and Adams Street Partners.

The prominent family-controlled Sinarmas, Triputra and Emtek groups also joined in. Earlier this year, East Ventures and Sinar Mas Digital Ventures (SMDV) duet injected a startup of Fore Coffee worth $8.5 million.

East Ventures co-founder Willson Cuaca said in a statement: “We are overwhelmed by the support given by our investors and decided to expand, but hard limit, the fund to $75 million. We could have raised more but we wanted to maintain certain disciplines in this euphoria era. We saw more money than good startups.”

With the new fund, the firm cemented its commitment to continuously support the Southeast Asian startup ecosystem, particularly Indonesia. Leveraging on its local expertise, the firm will stay bullish to provide Seed to Series A funding for startups from all sectors and industries.

East Ventures had previously invested in South-east Asian unicorns Traveloka, Tokopedia, Grab, Gojek, and ShopBack. It was recently named by Preqin as one of the world’s most consistently top-performing venture capital fund managers based on fund returns as in the third quarter of 2018. Its biggest exit was from online-to-offline startup Kudo, which Grabs acquired in a deal reportedly worth more than $100 million.

The participation in the sixth fund has been driven by the success of the previous 3 funds with 30 notable exits including Disdus’ exit to US-based Groupon back in early 2011 that happened after just less than 1 year of investment. In 2017, East Ventures-backed companies were acquired by 2 Southeast Asian unicorns: Grab acquired Kudo and Gojek acquired Loket.

In 2018, a successful SaaS company merger and acquisition happened through Sleekr acquisition to Jurnal and Talenta, which are both East Ventures’ portfolios. In 2019, another East Ventures’ portfolio company Bridestory was acquired by Indonesia based unicorn Tokopedia.

Established a decade ago, East Ventures is the VC pioneer in Indonesia managed by Willson Cuaca, Batara Eto, and Taiga Matsuyama. It is the most consistent top performing VC fund managers in the world according to the latest Preqin’s report and is the only Southeast Asian firm to have all three funds ranked in Preqin’s top quartile featured alongside four other VCs globally.

Through the sixth fund, East Ventures has invested in multiple new verticals: SME inclusion, new retail, fintech, news and media, healthcare, supply chain, and digital transformation. This includes investment into Wahyoo, Stockbit, AllSome Fulfillment, Katadata, Cicil, Mekari, Kedai Sayur, Advotics, The FIT Company, Nalagenetics.

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com