Singapore-based Forge Ventures has launched its USD 21.88 million debut fund, the firm said on Tuesday. The fund’s first close was oversubscribed. Its limited partners consist of founders and executives at tech companies like Airbnb, Carousell, Fabelio, Facebook, Funding Societies, GajiGesa, Grab, Kopi Kenangan, Qoala, and Stripe.
Established in 2021, Forge Ventures was founded by Tiang Lim Foo and Kaspar Hidayat in partnership with Alto Partners. Forge Ventures aims to cut checks for 15 companies in Southeast Asia over the next three years, with a focus on Singapore and Indonesia. The firm has invested in three startups so far—Vouch, a Singaporean SaaS platform for the hospitality industry; Dropezy, a grocery delivery platform in Indonesia; and Marathon, a Vietnamese edtech startup for K–12 students.
“We’re looking to do pre-seed and seed investments in the region. We’ll invest in companies that are as early stage as having just a few team members with a strong business plan,” the firm’s partner Tiang Lim Foo told KrASIA. Forge Ventures is a sector-agnostic VC firm, so it will cover the whole spectrum of B2C and B2B tech companies.
“For us, it’s about finding founders with high potential, meaning they must have clarity of thought and communication skills, as well as expertise and knowledge in certain technologies for products that they are building. Moreover, they need to have the ability to learn very quickly, because the tech startup ecosystem is getting more competitive,” said Foo.
“We probably won’t be the fastest in decision-making, as we like to spend time with founders and get to know them as people. This way, we can make a meaningful impact in their business-building journey,” Foo added. Forge Ventures aims to build long-term relationships where the partners can assist founders in their next stage of development, from Series A to Series C funding rounds, and eventually IPOs.
Forge Ventures’ co-founders and partners have over a decade of experience in building, operating, and investing in startups in the region. Foo is a former partner of SeedPlus and currently serves as a venture partner at Next Billion Ventures. Hidayat held investment roles in a number of venture capital firms, including 500 Startups and Venturra Capital.