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New VC firm Venturra launches US$150m fund to nurture tech businesses in SEA

MORE money is in the pipeline for South-east Asian startups.

Venturra Capital, a new venture capital (VC) fund sponsored by Indonesia's real estate development group Lippo, on Thursday launched its US$150 million Venturra Fund I to nurture tech and Internet businesses in South-east Asia.

The fund will target "early growth stage consumer" ventures in e-commerce, financial services, healthcare and education.

It will be run by managing partners Rudy Ramawy, previously country director of Google Indonesia; Stefan Jung, former founder and managing partner of Rocket Internet South-east Asia; and John Riady, director of Lippo Group.

Venturra will enjoy a "unique relationship" with the Lippo Group, which, as a sponsoring limited partner of the fund, will provide access to a "broad range of industries, a regional network of business, and a stable of corporate leaders" to enable portfolio companies to scale quickly and gain traction.

Lippo's portfolio of tech investments under Lippo Digital Ventures will also be merged with Venturra Fund I.

Said Mr Riady: "The South-east Asian markets are some of the most promising economies in the world with some of the best entrepreneurs globally. Eighty years from now, we want to look back, point to some of the most transformative companies in the region, and say that we played a part in contributing to their successes."

Meanwhile, 500 Startups, a Silicon Valley VC firm, is reported to be seeking to raise US$20 million for tech startups in South-east Asia, double its original fund. Genting, which controls South-east Asia's largest casino operator, is believed to be investing US$3 million into the fund.