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Indonesia-focused East Ventures aims to raise USD 88 million for post-pandemic fund

The VC’s eighth fund will be used to back promising startups emerging from COVID-19.

Early-stage tech investment firm East Ventures has reached the first close on a new seed fund, the company announced earlier. The fund is designed for startups that are emerging from the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and has a target of USD 88 million.

East Ventures managing partner Willson Cuaca told Bloomberg that the VC bagged USD 57 million in its first close from investors such as Adam Street and Pavilion Capital, a unit of Singapore’s Temasek Holdings.

“The pandemic has created a chance for a new breed of entrepreneurs to think about new problems and how to solve them in efficient ways via technology,” Cuaca said in a press statement.

He added that the VC is doing a health-check on its portfolio companies and will be assisting the founders in weathering the global economic and health crisis. Startups in Indonesia, especially in the hospitality and travel industries, are facing hardship due to government-imposed restrictions on social activities. Many have been forced to cut salaries and lay off workers, or pivot businesses to curb losses.

“We realized the majority of our CEOs have never been in crisis before,” Cuaca said.

Founded in 2009, East Ventures has invested in more than 170 early-stage companies across Southeast Asia and Japan. It has been the first investor in Indonesian unicorns Tokopedia and Traveloka.