Forge Ventures closes US$22M debut fund targeting seed-stage startups in Indonesia, Singapore

Kaspar Hidayat, Co-Founder and Partner, Forge Ventures and Tiang Lim Foo, Co-Founder and Partner, Forge Ventures

Singapore-based seed-stage VC firm Forge Ventures has announced the closing of its oversubscribed debut fund at US$21.88 million targetting Southeast Asia.

A sector-agnostic fund, it intends to back founders developing the next generation of category-defining firms at the seed stage. It is also paying close attention to fintech startups in the region.

Over the next three years, Forge Ventures plans to invest in 15 companies, primarily in Singapore and Indonesia, with an average cheque size of US$750,000.

It has already invested in three companies. They are:

  1. Vouch, a digital concierge SaaS platform for the hospitality industry in Singapore.
  2. Dropezy, an e-grocery delivery in Indonesia.
  3. Marathon, a Vietnamese K-12 after-school tutoring business.

Forge Ventures has also built a Limited Partner base designed to assist founders. Its prominent LPs are Airbnb, Carousell, Fabelio, Facebook, Funding Societies, GajiGesa, Grab, Kopi Kenangan, Qoala, and Stripe.

Forge Ventures was established in 2021 by Tiang Lim Foo and Kaspar Hidayat in partnership with Alto Partners, an Asia-focused multi-family office.

Foo was earlier a venture partner at Next Billion Ventures, while Hidayat was an investor at 500 Startups (now 500 Global).

According to Foo, Southeast Asia’s startup ecosystem is at an inflexion point, with a growing number of startups eyeing exits or joining the unicorn club. An influx of available capital urges founders to look for more from their seed investors.

“We are operators, so we know what it takes to go from zero to one. This is why we can build conviction early and be the first institutional capital to back a startup. The founders that we partner with count on us to get our hands dirty in every aspect of company building from ideation to go-to-market (GTM),” Foo added.

“While we do provide capital to startups, we see ourselves first and foremost as partners and advisers to the founders we work with. Unlike other investors, we allocate the majority of our time to working with founders so that we can make a difference,” co-founder and partner Hidayat said.

According to Refinitiv data, buoyed by the pandemic-induced digital transformation across the world, global VC funds have invested record-breaking US$268.7 billion so far in 2021, exceeding their total investments of US$251.2 billion a year earlier. In Southeast Asia, VC investments also amount to a record US$6 billion in Q1 2021, according to DealStreetAsia.

However, VC fundraising performance in the first half of 2021 has witnessed a slowdown, with the total proceeds slumping 21 per cent compared to the first semester of last year.

Image Credit: Forge Ventures

The post Forge Ventures closes US$22M debut fund targeting seed-stage startups in Indonesia, Singapore appeared first on e27.

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Kaspar Hidayat, Co-Founder and Partner, Forge Ventures and Tiang Lim Foo, Co-Founder and Partner, Forge Ventures

Singapore-based seed-stage VC firm Forge Ventures has announced the closing of its oversubscribed debut fund at US$21.88 million targetting Southeast Asia.

A sector-agnostic fund, it intends to back founders developing the next generation of category-defining firms at the seed stage. It is also paying close attention to fintech startups in the region.

Over the next three years, Forge Ventures plans to invest in 15 companies, primarily in Singapore and Indonesia, with an average cheque size of US$750,000.

It has already invested in three companies. They are:

  1. Vouch, a digital concierge SaaS platform for the hospitality industry in Singapore.
  2. Dropezy, an e-grocery delivery in Indonesia.
  3. Marathon, a Vietnamese K-12 after-school tutoring business.

Forge Ventures has also built a Limited Partner base designed to assist founders. Its prominent LPs are Airbnb, Carousell, Fabelio, Facebook, Funding Societies, GajiGesa, Grab, Kopi Kenangan, Qoala, and Stripe.

Forge Ventures was established in 2021 by Tiang Lim Foo and Kaspar Hidayat in partnership with Alto Partners, an Asia-focused multi-family office.

Foo was earlier a venture partner at Next Billion Ventures, while Hidayat was an investor at 500 Startups (now 500 Global).

According to Foo, Southeast Asia’s startup ecosystem is at an inflexion point, with a growing number of startups eyeing exits or joining the unicorn club. An influx of available capital urges founders to look for more from their seed investors.

“We are operators, so we know what it takes to go from zero to one. This is why we can build conviction early and be the first institutional capital to back a startup. The founders that we partner with count on us to get our hands dirty in every aspect of company building from ideation to go-to-market (GTM),” Foo added.

“While we do provide capital to startups, we see ourselves first and foremost as partners and advisers to the founders we work with. Unlike other investors, we allocate the majority of our time to working with founders so that we can make a difference,” co-founder and partner Hidayat said.

According to Refinitiv data, buoyed by the pandemic-induced digital transformation across the world, global VC funds have invested record-breaking US$268.7 billion so far in 2021, exceeding their total investments of US$251.2 billion a year earlier. In Southeast Asia, VC investments also amount to a record US$6 billion in Q1 2021, according to DealStreetAsia.

However, VC fundraising performance in the first half of 2021 has witnessed a slowdown, with the total proceeds slumping 21 per cent compared to the first semester of last year.

Image Credit: Forge Ventures

The post Forge Ventures closes US$22M debut fund targeting seed-stage startups in Indonesia, Singapore appeared first on e27.

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