iSeed, the micro venture fund started by the angel investor collective AngelList, has launched iSeed South East Asia, which will look to make seed-stage investments across Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand, as it attempts to cash in on one of the world’s fastest-growing startup ecosystems.
The target corpus of iSeed SEA has not been disclosed as it is still in fundraising mode, but it is expected to be similar in size to iSeed India, a $5 million investment vehicle led by Utsav Somani, who also leads AngelList India. iSeed India has struck about 12 investments to date while iSeed SEA has committed to about four investments so far.
“The India example has been wildly successful, and we wanted to start researching the region, and think about potentially replicating that model. We talked to a bunch of investors and founders and got very excited about the region, and we built the conviction to start this fund together,” Wing Vasiksiri, managing partner at iSeed SEA, told ET in an exclusive chat.
The fund has raised capital from a bunch of high net-worth individuals, based in the United State and in India, including AngelList founder and Chairman Naval Ravikant, Snapdeal cofounders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, Thumbtack cofounder Jonathan Swanson, Deepak Shahdadpuri, managing director of early-stage consumer-focused investment firm DSG Consumer Partners and Matthew Dellavedova, who plays point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers team in the National Basketball League, among others.
Some of the LPs have also invested in iSeed India, according to Vasiksiri.
“We are thinking about this fund as a proof of concept fund. Smaller funds are easier to return and it allows us to move much quicker and write smaller cheque sizes and still make it meaningful for the fund,” Vasiksiri said.
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iSeed SEA will write initial cheques between $100,000 and $250,000, and will look to make up to 30 investments from the first fund. The sector-agnostic fund will target placing bets across the consumer, healthcare, enterprise SaaS. The preference is for companies underpinned by technology.
Additionally, AngelList has emerged as one of the most active investor collectives in recent times. It has made about 140 investments, including backing several notable startups like BharatPe, Open Bank, DealShare, Mall91, Yulu Bikes, who have gone on to raise substantial amounts of growth capital.
“The next large opportunity that is being created is in South East Asia…the idea is to take an early look at promising companies. So, we thought, why not productise the whole thing, and raise a small fund?” Somani said.