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Temasek's Vertex adds Kasikornbank for new venture capital fund

[SINGAPORE] Vertex Ventures, the venture capital arm of Temasek Holdings Pte, secured Thailand's Kasikornbank Pcl as an investor in its new South-east Asian fund.

This is the first time Vertex, an early backer of South-east Asia's biggest ride-hailing startup Grab, is raising money from a Thai investor. Vertex has had two funds focused on South-east Asia in the past, fully funded by Temasek, Singapore's state investment firm.

The move underscores its effort to forge ties with partners outside Singapore to find the next billion-dollar startup. Financial institutions like Kasikornbank are also seeking ways to invest in new tech companies. The Bangkok-based bank has recently set up Beacon Venture Capital to invest in VC funds and promising startups.

Vertex Ventures SEA III, which is scheduled to close by November, has already exceeded its target size of US$150 million, according to the firm. Other investors in the third fund include Taiwan's Cathay Life Insurance Co.

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Since having its first close in Nov 2016, Vertex has backed Singapore-based financial technology startups Validus and Turnkey Lender. Vertex plans to allocate 75 per cent of its new fund to South-east Asia and the remaining 25 per cent to India.