Southeast Asia’s funding boom looks set to continue Jungle Ventures Today announced the first $225 million of its fourth fund. Fund IV began raising in mid-May and has a total goal of $350 million.
Most of its limited partners are returning from previous funds, and include Temasek Holdings, IFC (which put $25 million in Fund IV), DEG and the Asian and Global Family Office. The firm says this makes Fund IV the largest of all early-stage funds in Southeast Asia this year.
Founded in 2012, Jungle Ventures launched with a $10 million debut fund. Then in 2016, it announced a second fund of $100 million, followed by its third fund of $240 million in 2019.
Fund IV fits in with Jungle Ventures’ pace of raising a new fund every 2.5 to 3 years, founding partner Amit Anand told Nerdshala. It also comes at a time when the sector is getting more attention—and capital.
“If you look at Southeast Asia, where we are today, the ecosystem has been working for a long time. We started the journey in 2012. We are one of the oldest funds in the region and we have developed technology in Southeast Asia. The ecosystem hasn’t seen as good a time as today,” he said.
“The opportunity and talent in this area was always clear, and I think Capital has followed suit. But recent exit announcements, be it acquisitions or domestic and global IPOs, have changed the picture of Southeast Asia in many ways. and made it more attractive to all,” said Anand.
Jungle Ventures takes a focused approach and invests in around 12 to 13 companies per fund. It is relatively phase-agnostic, writing the seed for Series B checks and forming long-term partnerships with many of its investments. The firm has invested in several companies each round, including buy now, pay later startup Credivo.
This approach has worked well, Anand said. Companies in the 2016 Fund II include Unicorn Fincell and Moglist, and it’s paying about 7x on the fund today. “A similar pattern is emerging from the 2019 vintage,” he said, which includes investments such as beauty e-commerce platform Sociolla and KiotVet, the largest sales and store management system for small retailers in Vietnam.
Fund IV will write checks for Series B funds ranging from approximately $1 million to $15 million and will also participate in a follow-on round.
“We usually invest in a company when it has a bit of a product-market fit in its domestic market, and then we can help regionalize the business,” Anand said. “It could be on the seed, it could be A, it could be on B, it didn’t matter to us.”
Jungle Ventures’ limited partners also make substantial co-investments; In the last three to four years, LPs have invested around $400 million in their portfolio of startups.
In the sector, Anand is particularly enthusiastic about social commerce. “I think in a market like Southeast Asia, social commerce is going to eclipse e-commerce by a huge margin. Southeast Asia is not just a story about metro cities, it is about multiple tiers across different islands, different geographies. 2 is a story about Tier 3 cities. It is also a geography where the social fabric is deeply embedded within the communities.”
Jungle Ventures’ social commerce investments include Evermos, which sells halal and Sharia-compliant goods to its communities through agents.
The firm primarily focuses on Southeast Asia, but it also invests in India.
“The cross-pollination of talent and ideas, education and capital between Southeast Asia and India is very strong,” Anand said. “Southeast Asia, even though the ecosystem is growing a lot, technical talent is still emerging in the region, while India is a great source of technical talent, and we have enabled many of our portfolio companies to take advantage of this. Tech Hub in India.”
He added that “the focus of Indian investments is to help them expand into Southeast Asia as well and seize this opportunity.” An example of Jungle Ventures’ portfolio is the interior design platform LivSpace, which was founded in India, expanded to Singapore and will foray into other Southeast Asia markets.