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Even As Asia Venture Market Drops, Tiger Still On The Prowl

Illustration of a wagon loaded with a gold nugget being pulled uphill.

The Asia venture market declined in the first half of this year and several well-known investors seemed to slow their cadence.

However, Tiger Global was not one of those firms that lessened its pace.

The prolific investor, which has taken stakes in companies such as credit card issuer Brex, creator platform Patreon and connected fitness company Peloton, completed 72 deals in Asia in the first half of the year, according to Crunchbase data. That led all firms and represents a 76% increase from H2 2021—and a whopping 167% from only 27 in H1 of last year.

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Those numbers are impressive considering the Asia venture market’s decline. In the first half of this year, $62.7 billion was invested, a 16% decline from the first half of 2021 and a 37% dip from the second half of the year.

Tiger wasn’t the only investor to see potential in the world’s largest continent.Sequoia Capital China, Sequoia Capital India and Global Founders Capital all completed more than 40 deals in the first half of the year.

However, there were some steep declines by certain firms. Perhaps most interesting, Sequoia Capital China—which reportedly raised nearly $9 billion for four new funds—showed a significant decline in investment despite still being the second most prolific. Sequoia Capital China took part in 60 rounds in H1 of this year, a 21% drop from the second half of the previous year and a 14% decrease from the first half of last year.

Out of all firms that invested in more than 30 rounds, Y Combinator was the only one  to see a bigger dip from last year’s second half. The startup accelerator invested in 37 deals in the first half of this year, a 48% drop from H2 last year.

Leading the pack

Tiger didn’t just invest a lot, it invested big. The hedge fund giant led or co-led the most rounds in the region—52—in the first half of the year. This represented a 93% jump from H2 of last year and a 206% increase from H1 2021.


Rounds Tiger led totaled $2.8 billion—which also outpaced any other firm in the region. That total dollar figure is just less than the $3 billion in rounds Tiger led or co-led in H2 of last year.

Some of the biggest rounds Tiger led or co-led in H1 2022 in the region included:

  • Co-leading a $250 million Series F in Singapore-based industrial equipment marketplace Moglix in January.
  • Co-leading a $210 million Series E in India-based social e-commerce startup DealShare in January.
  • Led a $200 million Series D in China-based Sensors Data, a big data analysis company, in May.

Some other notable firms in the region, however, did pull back on leading rounds in the first half. SoftBank Vision Fund—which has been hit by significant losses as the market has turned this year and has slowed down investing everywhere—led or co-led only $1.6 billion worth of rounds. This represented a drastic  drop from the second half of last year, which saw it lead or co-lead rounds worth nearly $11 billion.

Similarly, Sequoia Capital China led or co-led rounds worth only $1 billion in the first half. That’s an 85% drop from the $6.9 billion worth of rounds it led or co-led in H1 2021.

Sequoia Capital India, on the other hand, increased the rounds it led or co-led from H1 2021, as well as the total amount of those rounds. The company led or co-led 23 rounds worth $1.1 billion in the just-completed first half of the year—a 45% increase in total dollar amount when compared to the first half of last year.

What next?

Funding numbers are down and some of the most notable investors do seem to be off their record high investment stats of 2021. What the rest of the year will hold is hard to say.

As mentioned, Sequoia Capital China has raised significant new money for its funds. In addition, just this week it was reported that prominent Chinese VC firm Qiming Venture Partners has raised $2.5 billion for two funds and Lightspeed Venture Partners closed a new $500 million fund earmarked for deals in India and Southeast Asia region.

However, there is no guarantee those firms will put that money to work in the near term—even if some expect China’s crackdown on large tech companies to ease.

The second half of the year could be as bumpy as the first, and investors may be leery to wade too deep into the market.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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