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Silicon Valley investor 500 Startups doubles South-east Asia fund

[HONG KONG] 500 Startups, a Silicon Valley venture-capital firm, doubled the size of its fund targeting South-east Asia technology startups.

The seed stage investor is now seeking to raise US$20 million, according to an e-mail.

Genting, which controls South-east Asia's largest casino operator, is investing US$3 million, according to two people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because it hasn't been announced. South Korea's GS Home Shopping also plans to invest, one of the people said.

Kuala Lumpur-based Genting declined to comment. Genting is the biggest shareholder in Genting Singapore, which operates one of the two casinos in Singapore. The holding company controlled by billionaire Lim Kok Thay also has interests in palm oil plantations, cruise-ship lines, property development and energy.

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GS Home Shopping is considering an investment in 500 Startups, a spokeswoman, Park Shin Ye, said while declining to elaborate. GS Home Shopping operates a TV shopping channel and online malls.

500 Startups declined to comment in Wednesday's e-mail on whether Genting and GS Home Shopping were investing in the Southeast Asia fund.

500 Startups, led by Dave McClure, has about US$200 million of assets under management, with backers including Yahoo Japan Corp. and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA. The Mountain View, California-based company is looking to raise US$200 million for its fourth global fund after closing its third one in September with US$85 million, according to its website.

The firm has invested in 1,200 companies across 50 countries since 2010.