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Singapore Venture Capital Surges as Startups Grow in Southeast Asia
ECONOMY Singapore

Singapore Venture Capital Surges as Startups Grow in Southeast Asia

Singapore is experiencing a surge in venture capital fundraising, reflecting growing interest in Southeast Asia’s startups.

This month, Vertex Ventures and two other venture-capital firms completed fundraising efforts in the city, each with their largest fund yet. In September, East Ventures, which made early bets on successful startups like Tokopedia and Traveloka, raised $30 million that will go toward seed capital and early-stage financing.

Investors are putting money into the region’s venture firms as they seek opportunities beyond the U.S. and China, the primary focus for Asia deals in recent years. Singapore’s government is providing incentives to attract entrepreneurs and venture capitalists -- cutting regulatory red tape, protecting intellectual property and allocating public money for early investments.

Grab. Image: Tech Crunch.
Vertex Ventures, early investor of Grab. Image: Tech Crunch.

“In the past decade, Singapore has invested heavily in the startup ecosystem,’’ said Paul Meyers, head of muru-D Singapore, Telstra Corp.’s accelerator program. “As a result, we’re seeing more –- and higher quality -– startups appearing and getting funded.’’

The venture industry continues to be led by the U.S., which accounted for $21.5 billion of the $39 billion total invested in the third quarter, according to KPMG’s Venture Pulse Q3 2017 report. Asia is the second-largest region at $12.3 billion, with China pulling in $10.2 billion of that total.

Singapore venture investments totaled $725.3 million in the second quarter of this year, boosted by Sea Ltd.’s $550 million funding round, according to KPMG. In the following three months, investments totaled $140.3 million.

East Ventures, Traveloka. Image: Facebook/Traveloka
East Ventures bets on successful startup Traveloka. Image: Facebook/Traveloka

“The fact that significant upticks still occur testify to how the Singaporean startup scene still produces companies capable of attracting significant capital,’’ the report said.

“There is a huge market potential in Southeast Asia,” said JP Lee, partner and managing director of SoftBank Ventures Korea, which has backed Indonesia’s Tokopedia. “There is economic growth, government support and appreciation for talent. We plan to do more work there.”


Source : This is part of an original article published by Bloomberg 

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