South Korean venture capital firm InterVest Co. and its Indonesian counterpart Kejora Ventures have recently announced the closing of its first round of funding for their new Southeast Asian fund, having secured more than half of the fund’s targeted US$100 million.
Korea Venture Investment Corp., a trust backed by Korea Development Bank and other investors has altogether contributed US$60 million to the InterVest Start Southeast Asia Growth Fund I which is aimed to help Korean startups to expand in the region.
“Southeast Asia is a promising market for Korean ventures,” said Kim Sang-Soo, the head of Southeast Asia at Korea Venture Investment. “The fund will seek to bridge them with local partners so they can grow and expand the region.”
Seoul-based InterVest was one of the first South Korean venture firms to turn its attention to Southeast Asia, home to 620 million people where growth is accelerating.
In fact, the region’s internet economy is estimated to reach US$200 billion by 2025 with the surging adoption of smartphones, according to a report by Google and Temasek Holdings Pte.
This InterVest Start Southeast Asia Growth Fund will provide growth-stage startups with capital, which is lacking in Southeast Asia.
“Part of our strategy is to bring experienced founders and technology here and help them with our capital and network so they can quickly become No.1 in that sector,” said Andy Zain, the founding partner of Kejora Ventures.
Founded in 2014, Kejora is an early-stage investor in Indonesia. It has invested in about 30 startups including financial technology firms C88 Fintech Group and Investree.
The company is backed by Indonesia’s Barito Pacific, the family that owns Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group and Germany’s Hubert Burda Media.
In another development, Kejora is planning to close its own second Southeast Asian fund early next year at a targeted amount of US$80 million.