Openspace unveils mid-stage fund OSV+; adds ex-Disney executive as director

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SINGAPORE-BASED venture firm Openspace Ventures on Monday announced its fourth fund, OSV+, focused on mid-stage tech investments.

The fund's maiden investment will be in the recently-announced US$100 million Series C round of biotech startup Biofourmis, which is being led by the SoftBank Vision Fund 2.

Openspace previously led Biofourmis' Series A round in 2017 and participated in the Series B raise last year. The venture firm says that it is one of the startup's largest non-management shareholders.

OSV+ will primarily participate in mid-stage rounds in existing Openspace portfolio companies, which the firm says are attracting strong mid-stage investor interest. The fund will also selectively make new growth-stage deals.

Hian Goh, co-founder and partner at Openspace, OSV+ may not lead investment rounds, but instead partner with other lead investors to aid promising startups in scaling up.

The follow-up investments will also allow Openspace to maintain a "significant and constructive" role in advising entrepreneurs on their growth strategy. Any new companies that OSV+ chooses to back will likely be startups that the Openspace has already known of before, Mr Goh added.

Openspace declined to comment on the size of the fund. A DealStreetAsia report previously said that the fund aims to raise US$300 million.

Separately, Openspace has also added a new executive director, Jessica Huang Pouleur, who was most recently based in Singapore as Asia-Pacific head of strategy and business development for The Walt Disney Company.

In that role, she managed Disney's investment and M&A activity across Asia-Pacific, including key aspects of its US$71 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox. Prior to Disney, she was with Providence Equity Partners for 10 years, most recently as a Singapore-based director managing growth-stage investment opportunities in South-east Asia.

Ms Huang will also be a member of the investment committee of OSV+.

She said: "I am excited to join Openspace where I have known the partners for a long time and watched with admiration as their team has helped build some of the best companies in the region."

Since 2014, Openspace has backed about 30 South-east Asian startups, including Indonesia's Gojek and Singapore software firm TradeGecko, which was recently sold to Intuit.

Openspace has also named a new senior adviser in Indonesia: Aristo Setiawidjaja, managing director and board member of Hermina Hospitals, the largest private hospital network in Indonesia.

Prior to Hermina, Mr Aristo was a director at Olympus Capital and the head of Indonesia for investment banking at Daiwa. Coming from an operations background at Kohler Company, he started his finance career at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York.

"As we deal with the new normal due to Covid-19 and rethink how daily life will change in its aftermath, there are plenty of emerging opportunities in Indonesia and the region. I am looking forward to contributing my perspectives to Openspace in sectors it is investing, which coincide with my domain knowledge of the sectors," Mr Aristo said.

Shane Chesson, Openspace's founding partner, said that the firm is "delivering on the unique requirements of technology investing in South-east Asia", with its four funds and team of 25. Its first three funds have US$350 million in total committed capital.

"The investment environment is attractive during this phase, and we will keep executing on our busy pipeline," he added.


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