500 Startups doubles its Southeast Asia Fund to $22m

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US-based accelerator and investment fund 500 Startups has more than doubled its South East Asia fund size to about $22.1 million, according to an SEC filing.

DEALSTREETASIA had first reported this development last month, and the SEC filing now confirms that the fund size has been increased by another $7 million,

This marks the second time that 500 Startups has topped up this fund – called 500 Durians – which had launched with $10 million in 2013.

Since then, it has closed around 45 deals, via this fund, accounting for a third of 500 Startups’ investment in Asia. focusing on e-commerce marketplaces and innovative business.

The new investors in its 500 Durians fund are learnt to be Kuala Lumpur-based Genting Bhd., that owns Southeast Asia’s largest casino operator, and has invested about $3 million, and South Korea’s GS Home Shopping Inc.

In May this year, this portal had reported 500 Startups has beefed up its team in the region, even as it increases its focus on South East Asia with a slew of recent investments. The report said that the firm had hired angel investor and former INSEAD Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Arnaud Bonzom, Director of Special Projects, for this region, and also got on board Vishal Harnal, formerly a senior associate with law firm Drew & Napier, as an investment manager.

Within two months of the new team coming on board, 500 Startups had hiked its fund size by $5 million.

 

Its activities in South East Asia are not restricted to just the 500 Durians fund. The Silicon Valley venture-capital firm had raised a $10-million micro fund ‘500 Tuk Tuks’ in February this year to support startups in Thailand. This fund is run by Ookbee’s chief executive Nathavudh Pungchareonpong and a former US-based googler Ruangroj Poonpol.

In August this year, it had launched its growth-stage acceleration service “Distro Dojo” in Malaysia, with the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC).

 

In the same month, as reported by this portal here, it further strengthened its team in South East Asia by bringing on board two more partners for the Vietnam market, where it had already made four investments. These partners were Binh Tran who has more than 20 years of experience in tech and Eddie Thai who is in the Forbes list of most influential Vietnamese under-30, and brings experience in tech, media, and telecommunications both in the US and Vietnam.

Earlier this week, Singapore-based fintech startup Call Levels, that provides real-time financial monitoring and alert services, which are designed to help traders monitor financial assets price movements easily on mobile, had announced it had close a pre-series A round led by 500 Startups.

See original article at http://www.dealstreetasia.com/stories/500-startups-doubles-its-southeast-asia-fund-to-22m-18650/

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