Bangkok-based angel investor lobby Bangkok Venture Club has announced a $20 million fund to invest in startups across Southeast Asia. The funds would be raised from the club’s investor pool as well as a large global network within the next 60 days.
“Our goal will be to partner local countries with angels in making investments. We will provide the seed capital and with the local people we will also mentor these startups,” Bangkok Venture Club co-founder Mark Wolf told DEALSTREETASIA in an interaction on the sidelines of the launch of ASEAN Angel Alliance in Kuala Lumpur.
Wolf founded the club in 2014 as a group of successful investors, executives and entrepreneurs in Thailand and Southeast Asia that identifies and supports seed and early stage businesses in the region. The investments for the fund will come from the club in Bangkok and a European-American investor group which the club is affiliated to. He declined to name the global group that the club has partnered. “It is the biggest investor network in the world that has approached us and asked us to represent them in Asia so that they can give investors from Europe, America and other places, an ability to invest in Southeast Asia. We will oversee the $20-million fund,” Wolf said.
Further, the fund will be managed by Robert Lomnitz, a serial entrepreneur and venture investor with 15 years of experience in venture investing and operating startups.
“He has been an incredibly successful fund manager around the world. He is going to run the fund for us and he is finalising and negotiating the details,” Wolf noted.
With regard to the investment timeline, he added that they are looking at funding over 50 startups and the ticket size would depend on each country. For example, in Thailand and Singapore it could be in the range of $500,000 to $1 million. While Malaysia could be $50,000 to $300,000 and Burma or Cambodia between $25,000 and $30,000.
The fund is not particularly looking to invest in hi-tech sectors. “I think you could take existing industries in Southeast Asia and apply technology and innovation to those sectors and make them a whole lot better,” Wolf added.
Among the countries that Wolf expects to see growth in the startup ecosystem and anticipates to invest are Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines, largely due to the population size of these nations.
Members of the Bangkok Venture Club include business leaders, with deep expertise across multiple domains including finance, real estate, transportation, retail, food, energy, telecom, advertising, law, government policy, education, insurance, software, electronics, and media.