East Ventures announced that its latest seed fund has reached a first close. Being East Ventures’ eighth fund, it aims to raise a total of $88 million, to push digital companies in Southeast Asia emerging in the post-lockdown aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fund will remain sector agnostic, raised from institutional investors, global funds, and family offices. Pavilion Capital and Adams Street Partners are known to join in the latest fund. East Ventures said that the total amount will be kept under $100 million to make it easier to inject them into early-stage companies, which helps the venture capital quickly achieve its key objective of being the best asset class for its limited partners.
As the pandemic has changed many aspects in life for good, East Ventures sees that entrepreneurs nowadays are building and adapting their businesses in ways that can withstand and offer solutions amidst crisis.
“The pandemic has created a chance for a new breed of entrepreneurs to think about new problems and how to solve them in efficient ways via technology,” managing partner of East Ventures, Willson Cuaca, said in a statement. “We remain optimistic about the future of Southeast Asia’s digital economy, and we’re particularly bullish on the Indonesian market. We feel the current situation proves our core hypothesis that great founders will find a way to make their companies thrive, even in times of crisis. Great people withstand the test of time.”
Next to investing in new startups, the pandemic also called for East Ventures to keep its portfolios in check and discuss with the founders since most of them have never undergone a crisis before.
“Because of this, we are doing health checks with our portfolio companies. Instead of immediately advising on tactical business plans, we first try to help the founder understand the crisis and how severely it is impacting their company. Only after founders understand these things can they begin to cultivate their own strategy and implement it tactically. In this respect, we’re trying to convey the importance of wartime leadership,” Willson said.
East Ventures was recently named the most consistent top performing VC fund globally by Preqin. In April, one of its portfolio companies, Moka POS, had a notable exit through its acquisition by Gojek. East Ventures is also the first investor of today’s unicorns in Indonesia - Tokopedia and Traveloka - as well as other companies such as Kudo (acquired by Grab), Loket (acquired by Gojek), Fore Coffee, Ruangguru, Sociolla, and many more.