Temasek’s Vertex Ventures Raises US$ 541 Million

Posted on 09/14/2023

Temasek Holdings-owned Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India has announced a successful fundraise of US$ 541 million. Vertex Ventures, in the past, has profited from the development of several companies including Grab, FirstCry, XPressBees, and Recko. Temasek’s Vertex Ventures points out that funding comes from sovereign wealth funds, financial institutions, corporates, and family offices. These include Japan Investment Corporation (JIC), International Finance Corporation (IFC) and DEG (German Development Finance Institution). Baker McKenzie acted for Vertex Ventures as international counsel on the formation and global private placement of its VVSEAI Fund V. The total amount includes US$ 50 million raised through a separate co investment vehicle that will invest alongside VVSEAI Fund V in women-led start ups.

Ben Mathias, Managing Partner of Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India said: “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.”

Chua Joo Hock, Managing Partner of Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India said: “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. 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.”

Yuka Hata, Managing Director and Head of Fund Investments at Japan Investment Corporation said: “Digital transformation in Southeast Asia and India is accelerating rapidly, creating new opportunities for Japanese companies to implement cutting-edge technologies into their business areas. Through our investment in Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India, we aim to promote open innovation initiatives and forge business alliances between their startups and Japanese enterprises to drive digitalization in our domestic markets, while also providing crucial support for Japanese startups seeking to expand into Southeast Asia and India.”

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. Rohit Sipahimalani, CIO of Temasek and Board Member of Vertex Holdings commented on this, “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.”

Some performers Vertex Ventures are optimistic about include Nium (a global cross border payments platform), Licious (an online farm-to-fork meat brand), KukuFM (a vernacular audio podcast platform), PatSnap (a global patent and innovation database), Sunday (a digital insurance platform), 17LIVE (a live social entertainment platform), Kissht (a digital-lender in India), Ace Turtle (an omni-channel retail platform for brands), TipTip (a monetization platform for creators in Indonesia) and Ayu Health (an integrated network of hospitals for India).

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