Update: 500 Startups reached out to Crunchbase News to inform us that, despite its name, the entity cited below is not a growth-stage fund. It is in fact a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for a follow-on round in an unspecified 500 Durians portfolio company. Accordingly, we’ve amended the article to remove specific references to a “growth-stage fund,” which were replaced with references to the SPV.
500 Startups is raising follow-on capital for a company in its Southeast Asia program 500 Durians. Started in 2013, the fund is headquartered in Singapore, a country with a growing startup ecosystem. By October 2017, 500 Durians had invested in nearly 160 companies in Southeast Asia, and it was reported as the most active tech investor in the region in 2017, according to its site.
Some of those investments include early stage deals for well-known companies like Singaporean rideshare giant Grab, which recently acquired Uber’s regional branch, as well as P2P e-commerce platform Carousell.
According to the SEC filing posted earlier today, 500 Durians SPV has a target fund size of approximately $21.18 million. $12.05 million has already been raised. The filing indicates that the first LP check was signed on April 12th.
A historical analysis suggests that this is the third fund being raised by 500 Durians, which kicked off with a $22.17 million first fund closed in late 2015. Interestingly, that fund was oversubscribed by a factor of two. (The initial filing for that fund cited a target fund size of a mere $10 million.) The second primary fund for 500 Durians is targeting $50 million in capital, and, as declared in a September 2017 filing, had closed $8.08 million of that.
Taken together, 500 Durians would have over $93 million under management if and when the new funds, and this SPV, are fully sold.
The partners listed on 500 Durians’s growth fund are:
- Christine Tsai, the managing partner of 500 Startups.
- Khalilee Ng, a managing partner at 500 Startups based in Malaysia. Prior to joining 500 Startups, Ng founded two companies: SAYS.com, which was acquired by Catcha Group, and Groupsmore, which was acquired by Groupon.
- Vishal Harnal, a general partner of 500 Startups. Prior to joining 500 Startups, Harnal participated in the Kauffman Fellows program.
The fund is also connected to 500 Mothership Carry, L.P., a subsidiary of 500 Mothership, the holding company for 500 Startups.
It should be noted that 500 Durians is not the only investment fund 500 Startups has spun up in the Southeast Asian region. 500 Startups also raised two other micro-funds in the region. As of a September 2017 regulatory filing, 500 Startups Vietnam was roughly halfway through raising a $10 million fund to invest in Vietnamese startups. 500 TukTuks is its Thailand-based accelerator fund.
With such a broad portfolio of startups in the region, it’s difficult to pinpoint which company the SPV will will invest in. Regardless, the new growth fund from 500 Durians should come as welcome reassurance for Southeast Asian startups. There are sizable gains to double down on.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias
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