SIGNALLING investor confidence in South-east Asian startups, venture firm Jungle Ventures has hit a first close of US$175 million for its third fund, according to sources familiar with the fund.
This is believed to be the largest first close for a South-east Asian early-stage venture fund. Some 90 per cent of the capital raised came from institutional investors in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, The Business Times understands.
The fund, which was launched in December last year, is expected to be oversubscribed at US$220 million at its final close in the next few months, exceeding the original target of US$200 million.
Notable limited partners (LPs) include sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings, the International Financial Corp (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and DEG, a development finance institution based in Germany. Both IFC and DEG encourage private sector growth in developing markets.
Other LPs include Cisco Investments, the venture arm of tech giant Cisco, the family office of Wilmar International chief executive Kuok Khoon Hong, as well as endowments, fund of funds and other strategic family offices.
Jungle has already made five investments out of the new fund, where it led Series A and Series B rounds, BT understands. Two deals are in Indonesia, one in Malaysia and one that is Jungle's first deal in Vietnam.
Jungle has worked closely with institutional investors in recent years. In particular, this was possible through its co-investment programme managed by head of investor relations Menka Sajnani, who worked at alternative investment management firm HQ Capital for seven years before joining Jungle.
Prior to this latest fund, Jungle had raised US$12 million for its first fund and US$100 million for its second fund in 2012 and 2016 respectively. Both funds had also focused on early-stage South-east Asian startups.
With its third fund, Jungle is particularly targeting the consumer and software sectors, which it sees as good proxies to ride on the boom in millennials and small and medium enterprises in the region respectively, BT understands.
Consumer tech bets Jungle has made with its earlier funds include fashion e-commerce player Pomelo, budget accommodation booking website RedDoorz and Indonesian consumer credit startup Kredivo.
Software-centric investments the venture firm has made with previous funds include Deskera, in which it led a US$60 million Series B round. Jungle also recently led a US$30 million round in Engineer.AI, which allows users to build bespoke software.
Jungle is likely to continue to invest in 10 to 15 companies a year in Series A and Series B stages, BT understands.