Despite global headwinds, Southeast Asia’s early-stage startups are still going strong, founders say Repetitive capital. Singapore-based venture capital firm, which runs a YC-style accelerator, today announced that it has raised $55 million for its Fund II from LPs like Cendana, K5 Global, Village Global and Goodwater Capital.
Other backers include a group of founders and executives, such as Dropbox co-founder Arash Ferdowsi, Bukalapak co-founder and former CEO Achmad Zaky, Andreessen Horowitz general partner Andrew Chen, former COO YC Qasar Younis, former Foursquare CEO David Shim and Airbnb Asia head Kum Hong Siew.
Are from Launch Iterative’s Fund I in 2021, the company has supported more than 65 companies in five groups. The companies in its portfolio have raised $163 million in follow-up funding and are worth a total of $1.2 billion. Venture firms that have invested in companies in Iterative’s portfolio include Insight Partners, Tiger Global, Monk’s Hill, Wavemaker and Hustle Fund.
The new funding will allow Iterative to scale up checks to $500,000 and add more programs for founders at different stages, including those for early-stage founders. are not yet accelerator-ready, and the founders at a later stage have gained strong traction. With Fund II, Iterative’s plan is to have larger startups, about 30 people each. Its goal is to invest in more than 100 companies at more stages, including pre-seed, seed, and Series A startups. Although Iterative’s first fund does not make further investments. follow, but the company can now do so.
Iterative co-founder and general partner Brian Ma said Fund II took only four weeks to raise funds because Foundation I’s founders were already doing well. Many of the first fund’s LPs have returned, and the attractive return profile in Southeast Asia has also attracted new LPs.
Startups in the Iterative programs have access to more than 80 groups of venture partners and visiting partners, all of whom are former or current executive founders.
“More specifically, we host weekly office hours, team hours, speakers and workshops with visiting partners, have a large-scale fundraising bootcamp, a built-in network to automate white-glove showcase for investors and over 450 investors to join our startups at our test days,” Ma said.
“Some of the most important work really happens behind the team, where we help alumni companies deal with negotiating their A or B grades, deal with scaling their organizations, and help coach them through co-founders and other growing difficulties.”
Some examples of companies in Iterative’s portfolio that have recently raised money include Spenmo, which closed a Series B round of $85 million led by Tiger Global; travel agency GoZayaan, raised $8 million and purchased FindMyAdventure to expand beyond Pakistan; and proptech startup Propseller, raised $12 million Series A in August. Meanwhile, another repeat alumnus, Sendhelper, is acquired by PropertyGuru in October.
Iterative’s founders remain optimistic about startups in Southeast Asia. While few startups are currently leaving there, early-stage investments continue to grow. For example, a report by Google, Temasek and Bain & Co. found that Southeast Asia is “relatively unaffected by global economic trends” and its real GDP growth remained at 4.6% year-on-year. The Iterative founders also noted that Southeast Asia’s digital economy is expected to hit $200 billion this year, while Indonesia’s online spending is expected to hit $130 billion by 2020. 2025. Vietnam is a particularly promising market, which is forecast to double its online GMV in the next three years.
Ma said Southeast Asian startups benefit from high potential and fair valuations. “With economies in recession and companies being overvalued in the US, China, etc., more capital is flowing into younger and higher growth regions like Southeast Asia. We believe this is the place that will deliver the best returns over the next 7 to 10 years.”