Temasek raises $210 mln for Southeast Asian deals

In this picture taken on July 8, 2010, an employee of the Temasek Holding walks past a company sign in Singapore. (AFP Photo/Roslan Rahman)

Vertex Ventures, the venture capital arm of Temasek Holdings, has completed its biggest fundraising for Southeast Asian and Indian technology deals.

The Singapore-based firm closed its third Southeast Asian fund at 210 million dollars, a record in the region that exceeded its target of 150 million dollars. The money will be used for early stage investments, aiming to repeat its success with Grab. Vertex was the first institutional backer in the ride-hailing company, which went on to become one of the most valuable technology startups in the region.

Vertex is the oldest venture-capital firm in Southeast Asia, according to Chua Joo Hock, a managing partner of Vertex Southeast Asia and India, which has offices in Singapore, Bangalore and Jakarta. “We will expand our presence to other Southeast Asian cities to better access local opportunities,” he said.

Vertex Ventures SEA III marked the first time the firm raised money from outside investors such as Kasikornbank in Thailand and Cathay Life Insurance in Taiwan. Vertex has had two funds focused on Southeast Asia in the past, fully funded by Temasek, Singapore’s state investment firm.

Some of Vertex’s recent investments include InstaReM, which provides cross-border payment services in more than 40 countries; Turnkey Lender, a software company for credit assessment and loan management; and Synup, a digital marketing startup in India. The firm plans to continue its strategy of investing in early-stage tech companies in enterprise technology, financial technology and consumer internet. – Bloomberg