Convergence targets startups in the digital media, e-commerce, aggregators/directories and ‘enabling technologies’ like adtech for investment
Convergence Ventures, an Indonesian-focussed seed-stage VC Firm based in Jakarta, announced today it has closed its Convergence Capital Fund I at US$30 million, surpassing the company’s original target.
At US$30 million, the close makes Convergence Capital Fund I the largest early-stage venture fund focussed on companies with a presence in Indonesia
“While we might meet with companies outside of Indonesia with a view to come in in the future, we wouldn’t actually be driven to invest until they had something in Indonesia — be it sales, operations, teams. Even with that, the majority of our investments are based in Indonesia,” Adrian Li, the Founding and Managing Partner of Convergence told e27.
The fund has built strategic partnerships with companies like Garena, Baidu and Emtek and says it has wide-ranging institutional support. It also has two familiar names on its advisory board, Y Combinator’s Justin Kan and the Founder of IDG Ventures India, Manik Arora.
“We meet with [the advisors] on a monthly basis to report on the deals that we are doing, and they massively expand our connected network and experience. Being able to make the right connections for our portfolio companies,” said Li.
Convergence has already invested in 17 companies with the fund, with Qraved and Paktor being notable examples of portfolio companies. (Full Disclosure: Optimatic, the parent company of e27, is a Convergence portfolio company).
Today’s announcement marks the final close of the Convergence Capital Fund I, a fund that Convergence hopes will make around 30 investments over a three year period. Li was optimistic the team will bring the total number of deals to 20 by the end of the year and cited the firms ability to stay on track as a contributing factor in surpassing the fund’s original target.
The firm is targetting four pillars for investment: digital media disruption, e-commerce, aggregators/directories and ‘enabling technologies’ (services that improve the internet like adtech and payments technologies).
One of the interesting strategies for Convergence is the firm has a PR-focussed team, whose job it is to get its portfolio companies in the news.
“It’s not the usual tech blogs, it’s more for real traditional media that will help these companies build their credibility with the customers of the company,” said Li.
“Imagine for example, we invest in a POS system and they want to get the word out to SMEs who are looking for something cheap, flexible and practical. There are certain kinds of vertical media that will help build credibility,” he added.
Prior to Convergence, Li was the Co-founder of an e-learning business named Idapted that was aqcuired. Afterwards, he worked at Rocket Internet as Managing Director in China and Indonesia.
Li’s partner, Donald Wihardja was the formerly the CTO of Principia Private Equity and was Country Manager of the regional payments solution 2C2P.
Whether coincidence or not, Convergence portfolio company Paktor announced late last night the close of a US$32.5 million round — one of the largest deals in Southeast Asia this year.
Li pointed to the fact that, while staying on plan was helpful for getting LPs on board, having companies like Paktor raise substantial follow-up rounds is essential.
What Li said he likes about these companies that ‘break out’ (raise over US$10 million) is the resiliency of the entrepreneurs and the ability to successfully localise a product that has a global comparison (Paktor is often compared with Tinder).
“If you can take a proven business model and product need, things businesses need regardless wherever you are in the world, and customise it in ways that works best for the local market and find that Founder that is passionate about the product they are building. That is what makes us very excited to back a company,” Li said.
Disclaimer: Convergence Ventures is an investor in Optimatic Pte. Ltd. the parent company of e27.
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