Early-Stage Investor Wavemaker Partners’ Third SEA Fund Brims Over at US$111M

Wavemaker Partners brought in $11 million over its target for the fund

Singapore- and Los Angeles- based venture capital firm Wavemaker Partners has closed its third Southeast Asia fund at US$111 million, a sliver above its initial $100 million target, the early stage investor announced in a statement yesterday.

The funds were secured from existing backers Pavilion Capital, Temasek Holdings, International Finance Corporation (IFC), and Vulcan Capital, along with new investor Concentric Equity Partners, the statement noted.

“We’re hopeful that our focus on investing in enterprise and deep tech startup teams that solve meaningful problems with superior, differentiated offerings and robust unit economics will pay off in the long term,” Wavemaker Managing Partner Paul Santos said in the statement.

Wavemaker Partners, which invests in enterprise and deep tech startups, will focus the fund on seed capital for such startups, the firm had said in an earlier statement announcing the first close of the fund.

The venture firm announced the first close of the fund at $60 million in June 2019, raised from Pavilion Capital, IFC and Temasek, the previous statement added.

Limited partners included Vulcan Capital, EE Capital, and Singapore’s Keppel Corporation, joined by several family offices, including Aglaia Family Office, the family offices of Microsoft and Facebook co-founders, and Lance Gokongwei, chief executive of Philippine conglomerate JG Summit Holdings.

In an interview, Santos noted that its third fund would enable the firm to write bigger checks for its portfolio companies, with initial investments of $500,000 in seed capital followed by $1-2 million in subsequent rounds.

Wavemaker Partner’s Southeast Asia Fund 2 was also oversubscribed at $66 million, closing at 32% more than its $50 million target, according to a statement by International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank group and one of the fund’s backers.

The second fund, Wavemaker Partners has said, was the largest early-stage fund in the Southeast Asia region that was focused on enterprise and deep tech startups.

Since 2012, when the cross-border venture capital firm closed its first Southeast Asia fund of SG$20 million, Wavemaker Partners has invested in over 130 startups, 86% of which are enterprise-level, and 32% of which are deep tech startups, the company has said.

It added that the firm has seen six exits, cumulatively worth over $400 million, in the last two years, including GoJek-acquired Moka, and Red Dot Payment, acquired by Nasper-owned PayU.

Wavemaker Partners has made several investments this year, and has played the lead investor in a number of those, including Singapore wireless space laser communication startup Trancelestial Technologies’ $9.6 million Series A, and travel platform ZuBlu’s $1 million seed round.

Some of the firm’s prominent portfolio companies include Indian bike-sharing startup Yulu, and Singapore-based fashion retail startup Zilingo.

Header image from Freepik

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