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Jakarta Post

East Ventures closes seed funding for post-pandemic innovation

  • Eisya A. Eloksari

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, June 26, 2020   /   02:19 pm
East Ventures closes seed funding for post-pandemic innovation East Ventures managing partners (left to right) Willson Cuaca, Batara Eto and Taiga Matsuyama. (East Ventures/East Ventures)

Southeast Asia’s most active early-stage investment firm East Ventures announced the first closure of its latest seed fund designed for Southeast Asian technology start-ups in the post-COVID-19 era.

The firm’s cofounder and managing partner Willson Cuaca said the pandemic had provided clarity for start-up founders in formulating new solutions through technology for post-pandemic problems.

“We remain optimistic about the future of Southeast Asia’s digital economy and we are particularly bullish on the Indonesian market,” he said in a media release on Thursday.

The new fund would be East Ventures’ eighth technology funding vehicle, Willson said, adding that the firm aimed to raise US$88 million in capital to be deployed to early-stage tech start-ups in various sectors.

Read also: Indonesia retains its position as SE Asia’s second-largest venture capital market

The fund is being raised from institutional investors, global funds and family offices along with venture firms Pavilion Capital and Adams Street Partners.

“We are pleased to be committing to the new East Ventures fund. We are impressed with their track record and local market reputation. We hope that they will continue to generate strong returns,” said Adams Street partner Sunil Mishra.

Aside from preparing for new funding, East Ventures said it was helping its existing portfolio amid the pandemic.

“We realized that most of our CEOs had never been in a crisis before. That is why we are doing health checks with our portfolio companies,” Willson said. “Instead of immediately advising on tactical business plans, we first try to help founders understand the crisis and how severely it is impacting their company.”

East Ventures, which was an early backer of Indonesian unicorns Tokopedia and Traveloka, reported that two out of four of its funds had returned beyond the amount of capital invested by limited partners. (eyc)