Former Founders of Streaming Platform Viki, Launch Venture Builder For Startups Across Southeast Asia
By Digital and News Asia November 25, 2021
- Moving projects to Singapore as home base to commercialize
- Invest in SEA startups, create new incubation system, bringing business models
Jiwon Moon and Changseong Ho, the founders of the global community-powered video service Viki, have announced the launch of TheVentures Singapore (TVSG), a venture builder company. Using its capital, resources and experience in startups, TVSG aims to grow and scale multiple startups in Singapore.
The main objective is to replicate their success with TheVentures, an early-stage startup incubator and VC firm the couple launched in South Korea in 2014 whose portfolio includes companies they claim have seen valuation multiples ranging from five to 800 times over the past years, such as Sellit, Wedding Book, and Riiid.
TheVentures Korea, backed by blue-chip LPs and investors including Kakao, NCSoft and Com2Us, has invested in over 100 startups and holds a portfolio value well in excess of US$1 billion (RM4.18 billion).
TVSG is focused on early stage, high growth tech businesses in Southeast Asia (SEA). It will seek opportunities in domains including e-commerce, community, fintech, online to offline, biotech, healthcare, foodtech and sustainability. It will also be relocating multiple projects to Singapore which will serve as the base camp for them to commercialize their technology and scale their business. The couple have said that they have invested in more than 20 SEA startups so far, either through TheVentures Korea or in their personal capacity.
“We are excited to return to Singapore as technologists and company builders to support startups in the Southeast Asia region with the launch of TheVentures Singapore. Over the past year, our portfolio of Southeast and South Asian startups has increased to 57% in 2021, up from 21% in 2020. We aim to help over 100 high-growth startups incorporate or relocate to Singapore within the next five years,” said Changseong, cofounder of TVSG.
Jiwon shared “Singapore is like a second home to us. The country is well positioned with an ecosystem that is driven by finance and innovation, which helps to facilitate the cross-pollination of businesses and technologies internationally. We hope that our contribution to technology will be valued and appreciated in Singapore and Southeast Asia. This would also mark our second stay in Singapore as we were here running Viki over 10 years ago. We would like to make Singapore our base camp again for our new projects, and global expansion in the near future.”
Changseong and Jiwon are the founders of the global video streaming platform, Viki. Launched in 2007 from their Stanford dorm room where Changseong was pursuing his MBA and acquired by Rakuten for a reported US$200 million in 2013, Viki was considered one of the most successful exits in SEA at that time. After the Viki exit, the couple has continued to contribute to the startup community across Asia’s startup ecosystem by investing and building startups in Korea, the United States, India, and Vietnam.
Regarding their future plans, Moon and Ho shared that they would expand Community Alliance Network (CAN), their latest project of SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) tools for startups without an in-house tech team to Southeast Asia, and CANnovate, a SaaS-powered startup incubation program targeted for entrepreneurs in the community, education, and commerce sectors, by the first half of 2022.