Despite Pandemic, Wavemaker Closes Third Oversubscribed Southeast Asia Fund
Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior reporter, covering venture capital. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks. Follow him on Twitter.
Despite the raging coronavirus pandemic, Wavemaker Partners announced Wednesday it has closed its third and largest fund focused on Southeast Asia with $111 million in dry powder, exceeding its initial target of $100 million.
"If not for COVID we may have been oversubscribed a little more, but we're happy with where we ended up," said Eric Manlunas, the firm's founder & managing partner.
Some LPs cut their commitment once the seriousness of the coronavirus became clear, but Manlunas says Wavemaker benefited from a solid track record of previous funds and momentum after starting fundraising before the pandemic.
"The timing was challenging towards the end," he said. "There was certainly a fair amount of worry there when the world almost went upside down three or four months ago."
New investor Concentric Equity Partners will join existing institutional backers including Pavilion Capital, Temasek, International Finance Corporation (IFC), and Vulcan Capital in the new fund.
Founded in 2003, Wavemaker is a cross-border venture firm dual headquartered in Los Angeles and Singapore, and has raised some $400 million across multiple vehicles. Its previous $66 million Southeast Asia fund was already the largest early-stage fund focused on enterprise and deep tech start-ups in the region. Since 2012, the firm has invested in over 130 startups, over 100 of which are enterprise-focused and over 40 in deep tech and artificial intelligence. Exits include Indonesian mobile point-of-sale system Moka (acquired by Gojek), cloud communications software company Wavecell (acquired by 8x8) and regional payments solutions provider Red Dot Payment (acquired by PayU/Naspers).
Wavemaker believes the pandemic has helped to further strengthen the thesis that B2B startups represent an undervalued investment opportunity, though Manlunas says the firm has adopted a more cautious approach as it becomes clear that the coronavirus is not going away anytime soon.
"We're prepared to see really a sluggish environment for the next several quarters," Manlunas said. "We've shared with our entrepreneurs that this thing could last through half of next year."
- Startup Dealmaking in Los Angeles is Down - dot.LA ›
- Wavemaker 360 Health Announces $100 Million Fund Aimed at ... ›
- Pandemic, Strained U.S. China Relations Force Investors to Pivot - dot.LA ›
Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.
- CrimeDoor, an immersive augmented reality app launched last week, is straddling the space between mystery entertainment and crowdsourced crime solving.
- The app was conceived by Neil Mandt, a longtime film and TV producer-turned-tech entrepreneur. A true crime enthusiast himself, Mandt said he saw an opportunity to merge the popular genre with immersive reality.
- The AR environments are constructed based on real crime scene photos, police reports and eyewitness accounts.
A new augmented reality app launched this week allows anybody to feel what it's like to explore a murder site as it appeared right after the crime occurred. They may even be able to help crack an unsolved crime.
PayPal Holdings, Inc. announced Thursday it will be transferring money to two L.A. firms as part of a $50 million commitment to eight early-stage, Black and Latinx-led venture capital funds.
Slauson & Co., the new fund from PledgeLA chairman Austin Clements focused on people of color, women and LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs; and VamosVentures, the Latinx consumer-focused, early-stage fund founded by Marcos Gonzalez, are both receiving undisclosed investment amounts.
- PledgeLA Releases Report on Diversity in Los Angeles Tech - dot.LA ›
- MaC Venture Capital's Marlon Nichols on 'Diversity Theater' - dot.LA ›
- a16z VC Firm Launches Fund to Target Diverse Founders - dot.LA ›
After seeing the pandemic's disproportionate impact on lower-income minorities, Beatriz Acevedo, the co-founder of digital media company mitú, felt compelled to return to the startup world.
On Thursday, the L.A.-based entrepreneur and three-time Emmy-winning producer announced the launch of SUMA Wealth, a fintech company that will seek to provide U.S-born Latinos with financial-inclusion tools and resources.
L.A.-based entrepreneur and three-time Emmy-winning producer Beatriz Acevedo is the co-founder of SUMA Wealth
- Beatriz Acevedo, President, Acevedo Foundation; Co-founder, LA ... ›
- Why Funding Inequity Isn't Deterring These Female Founders, VCs ... ›
- How Working From Home Challenges Women and How To Succeed ... ›