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Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital India And China Power Funding To Asia Startups Even As Dollars Drop

Even as total venture dollar amounts dipped in Asia in the first quarter—as it did in most areas—it was a list of the usual suspects that led the way in investing in the region.

Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital India and Sequoia Capital China participated in the most rounds during the first quarter, according to Crunchbase data. Tiger also led or co-led the most rounds in the quarter, even as funding seemed to taper off in the continent after a robust 2021.

Venture funding in Asia declined to $36.3 billion in the first quarter, a 7 percent dip compared to the same quarter last year—and a more significant 31 percent drop compared to the last quarter of 2021, according to Crunchbase.

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Tiger eyes the young

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the investor numbers for Asia is to see how Tiger seems to have taken a new interest in earlier rounds. According to Crunchbase data, the investing giant took part in 20 Series A or B rounds in the first quarter. In total last year, the firm only participated in 23 such rounds and none in the first quarter.

Those numbers may make sense, as Tiger has been pegged as one of the venture and growth firms that may pull back on expensive late-round deals and look to invest money elsewhere.

Both Sequoia Capital India and Sequoia Capital China took part in 14 Series A or B rounds, followed by Hillhouse Capital Group and GGV Capital to round out the top five. All four of those firms have at least been relatively active in early-stage rounds in Asia recently.

Still big money

None of that is to say Tiger isn’t spending big money in the region—as are others.

While SoftBank Vision Fund led the way last year in terms of value of rounds led or co-led, Tiger is the early favorite to take the title in 2022. Tiger led or co-led 27 rounds worth a total of nearly $2 billion. The only other firm to come close was Qatar Investment Authority, which only led or co-led three.

Some notable rounds led or co-led by firms that top the chart are:

  • Tiger led a $250 million Series F in Singapore-based industrial equipment marketplace Moglix.
  • Qatar Investment Authority led a $1.5 billion venture round for India-based investment platform Bodhi Tree.
  • SoftBank Vision Fund led a Series E worth nearly $300 million for India-based logistics platform ElasticRun.

Softbank Vision Fund may be the most surprising as far as Asian investment in Q1 is concerned. Last year, the fund took part in 43 rounds in the continent and led or co-led 36 for a total value of nearly $15 billion. It’ll have to pick up its pace significantly if it wants to reach those numbers, after leading or co-leading only seven rounds for about $1 billion in Q1 and only taking part in eight total funding rounds in Asia.

In total

Five firms participated in more than 20 funding rounds in Q1 in Asia—led by Tiger, which took part in 35 rounds. It was followed by Sequoia Capital India (30 investments), Sequoia Capital China (29), Global Founders Capital (28) and Hillhouse Capital Group (23).

According to Crunchbase numbers, that was the largest number of rounds in a quarter concerning Asia-based startups Tiger, Sequoia Capital India and Global Founders Capital participated in compared to any quarter last year.

Just missing the top five in total investments was seed round powerhouse Y Combinator, which participated in 19 rounds. All but one of those rounds were seed rounds, placing it behind only Global Founders Capital for most seed rounds invested in for the first quarter on the continent.

While it’s hard to draw any grand conclusion after just one quarter, it does seem likely this year will be dominated by names we have become familiar with through the last few years in terms of the number of investments—even if those dollars may not reach 2021 levels.


The data contained in this report comes directly from Crunchbase, and is based on reported data. Data reported is as of April 6, 2022.

Note that data lags are most pronounced at the earliest stages of venture activity, with seed funding amounts increasing significantly after the end of a quarter/year.

All funding values are given in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted. Crunchbase converts foreign currencies to U.S. dollars at the prevailing spot rate from the date funding rounds, acquisitions, IPOs and other financial events are reported. Even if those events were added to Crunchbase long after the event was announced, foreign currency transactions are converted at the historic spot price.

Glossary of funding terms

Seed and angel consists of seed, pre-seed and angel rounds. Crunchbase also includes venture rounds of unknown series, equity crowdfunding and convertible notes at $3 million (USD or as-converted USD equivalent) or less.

Early stage consists of Series A and Series B rounds, as well as other round types. Crunchbase includes venture rounds of unknown series, corporate venture and other rounds above $3 million, and those less than or equal to $15 million.

Late stage consists of Series C, Series D, Series E and later-lettered venture rounds following the “Series [Letter]” naming convention. Also included are venture rounds of unknown series, corporate venture and other rounds above $15 million.

Technology growth is a private-equity round raised by a company that has previously raised a “venture” round. (So basically, any round from the previously defined stages.)

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.

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