Temasek’s Vertex raises RM957m for SE Asia fund


SINGAPORE • Vertex Venture Holdings Ltd raised US$230 million (RM956.8 million) in the first close of its fourth South-East Asian fund to back technology start-ups across the region and India.

The Singapore-based venture capital arm of Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd plans to finalise the funding in the next few months, which could take it above the first close, said Chua Kee Lock (picture), managing partner of Vertex Ventures South-East Asia and India. Most of the investors in its third fund, including Cathay Financial Holding Co, have backed the new one.

After the success of its bet on ride-hailing app Grab, now South-East Asia’s most valuable start-up, Vertex plans to continue backing early-stage technology for financial services, enterprise and consumers in the region.

The net internal rate of return of its third South-East Asian and Indian fund, which started in 2016, was 45.2% as of December, according to a presentation to investors.

“Our investors have shown confidence in us by participating in the first closing, which hit the initial target of the fund,” Chua said.

“The reality is that there are some concerns about the trade war and valuations and the fundraising environment is getting harder.”

The new fund comes amid a flurry of fundraising activities in the region. Jungle Ventures is currently raising a US$200 million fund, while Golden Gate Ventures has teamed up with South Korea’s Hanwha Asset Management to raise a US$200 million fund. — Bloomberg