June 15, 2016 – SINGAPORE-headquartered Golden Gate Ventures has secured US$60 million for its second early-stage venture fund, with investors across Asia, Europe and the Middle East taking part.
The fund was oversubscribed by US$10 million, said the firm, which has invested in over 30 startrups in the region with two previous funds.
Existing investors – Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings and Facebook cofounder Eduardo Saverin – were joined this round by South Korea-based Hanwha Life Insurance, Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank, and German media conglomerate Hubert Burda Media. The firm declined to identify the investor from the Middle East.
Golden Gate Ventures founding partner Vinnie Lauria (pic above) said the venture capital (VC) firm will continue to invest in marketplaces, e-commerce, payments and logistics.
“We will also continue to look at SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platforms that enable business-to-consumer (B2C) technology.
“Within fintech (financial technology), we’ll start looking into other technologies such as blockchain and business-to-business (B2B) solutions,” he told Digital News Asia (DNA) via email.
According to Golden Gate Ventures, startup activity in South-East Asia is at a “critical inflexion point,” with VC funding doubling year-on-year in the first quarter of 2016 despite the economic slowdown and market volatility.
“Data indicates a growing number of investment rounds, with US$1.7 billion being invested in 473 deals over the last five months,” the firm said in its statement.
“Despite the perceived difficulties in China affecting investor sentiment in the country, investment continues to flow into South-East Asia,” it added.
Vietnam under-rated by VCs
When asked which of the less-developed emerging economies of South-East Asia that Golden Gate Ventures thinks has been under-rated, Lauria said, “Vietnam, undoubtedly.”
“It has some of the best engineers and technical talent in the region, and we have gone to great lengths to foster deeper ties there,” he said.
Having said that, Lauria argued that investors are not under-valuing Vietnam.
“I think it’s just more complicated to do business in Vietnam – from sourcing deals to working within the legal and financial regulations, to even navigating the country itself….