- Has 65% of committed capital and expects first close by end of August
- Targets companies that are tackling the fast-growing economy in SEA
SINGAPORE-based Golden Equator Capital (GEC) and Korea Investment Partners (KIP) launched a S$120 million (US$87 million) Co-GP Venture Fund to invest in Series A and Series B high-growth technology companies in Southeast Asia (SEA), called the GEC-KIP Technology and Innovation Fund (GEC-KIP Fund).
Both GEC and KIP will be the General Partners (GPs) of the GEC-KIP Fund which has the mandate to invest in companies based in SEA with a small proportion reserved for Korean companies looking to expand into SEA via Singapore. The average ticket size will be between S$2 million to S$5 million (US$1.4 million to US$3.6 million) with follow-on potential.
To-date, the fund has 65% committed capital and expects to have its first close by end August with a targeted final close by the end of the year.
This fund also sees strong support from institutional investors as Limited Partners (LPs) that are strategic in value adding to the fund as well as portfolio companies and their potential exits.
Golden Equator Capital managing partner Daren Tan says, “We are excited to embark on this cross-learning development with KIP who is a seasoned VC investor with a long, established track record across several markets such as US, China, and Korea.
“Given the fragmented tech investment landscape in SEA, uniting our strengths and network with KIP further bolsters our position. So, when we invest, it is not just capital; we are essentially also lending our portfolio companies the collective expertise and strategic networks, to accelerate their growth and success in the long run.”
He tells Digital News Asia that given the fund size which is S$120 million, the mandate verticals will cover various sectors such as proptech, fintech, healthtech, new media and entertainment, e-commerce, and edutech.
“As long as we can leverage on the broad expertise of the different investment professionals we have within the combined GEC-KIP team.”
Then he adds, “We tend to look for companies that are tackling the fast-growing millennial economy in SEA. Leveraging on the growth of mobile penetration and given the young population living across the region (average age of 28-years-old), we foresee this target group being the most attractive market for our portfolio companies.”
Golden Equator Group founder and group chief executive officer Shirley Crystal Chua comments, “One thing that remains key is our focus to continue backing bold and innovative founders, seeking not only investment returns, but also to promote sustainability and have a meaningful, positive impact on the future generation.”
The launch of the GEC-KIP Fund will also see KIP establish its foothold in SEA with Singapore as headquarter.
KIP’s investment professionals will be based in Singapore at SPECTRUM, a curated technology and innovation business club founded by Golden Equator Group.
SPECTRUM is also home to the “Korea-Singapore Healthcare Incubator” which was established in September 2017 through an MOU between Golden Equator Group and a Korean entity C&R Healthcare, appointed by the City of Seoul BioHub and Korean Health Industry Development Institution (KHIDI).
The fund was also launched in support of the Singapore-Korea government’s efforts in deepening bilateral relations between the two nations. At the end of last week, an MOU was signed between Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and Ministry of SMEs and Startups of the Republic of Korea (MSS) to promote co-innovation and internationalisation co-operations between SMEs and startups in Singapore and Korea.
KIP is currently managing 41 funds with an AUM of US$2 billion. In the last ten years, KIP has successfully liquidated 12 funds with an average Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 18% and with no net loss on any fund. KIP backs more than 120 companies every year.
Korea Investment Partners chief executive officer Baek Yer Hun says, “We are thrilled to partner with Golden Equator who has built a strong ecosystem in the SEA region through its businesses and its extended network. The fund will be a positive development for the bilateral relationships between Korea and Singapore as well as the venture capital investment landscape, further cementing both GEC and KIP’s positions as leaders in this space.”
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