InterVest and Kejora Ventures aim to help South Korean startups expand to the Southeast Asian region through the fund
South Korean venture capital firm InterVest and its Indonesian counterpart Kejora Ventures have made the first close of its US$100 million InterVest Star Southeast Asia Growth Fund I, according to a Bloomberg report.
InterVest announced that Korea Venture Investment Corp. (which is backed by investors such as Korea Development Bank) has contributed US$60 million to the fund that aims to help South Korean startups to expand to Southeast Asia.
“Southeast Asia is a promising market for Korean ventures … The fund will seek to bridge them with local partners so they can grow and expand in the region,” said Kim Sang-Soo, head of Southeast Asia at Korea Venture Investment.
It will also provide funding for growth-stage startups in Southeast Asia, as funding is often seen as a challenge for startups in the region.
A Korea Herald report has dubbed Southeast Asia as a “fertile ground” for South Korean startups “seeking investment momentum and a larger share of the market.”
It pointed out the region’s demand for engineering talents as one of the opportunities that the country’s tech startup community can tap into.
In August, South Korea-based accelerator and fund network SparkLabs Group launched a US$50 million fund called SparkLab Ventures, which targets both South Korean and Southeast Asian startups.
In the market, South Korean investors will have to compete with Chinese investors and tech giants, which have been investing heavily in several tech startups. Some of the most notable investments Chinese companies have made in Southeast Asia include Alibaba’s investment in Lazada and Tokopedia.
Chinese investors have even set-up industry-specific funds such as Zhexin IT’s collaboration with Discovery Nusantara Capital, which focussed on gaming industry.
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