Temasek, Naver join Golden Gate’s new US$100 million startup fund

The Gardens by the Bay and ships sitting offshore in the Singapore Strait are illuminated at dusk in Singapore, on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. (Bloomberg pic)

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s Golden Gate Ventures closed its third fund at $100 million to accelerate investment into Southeast Asian consumer internet startups.

The fund was oversubscribed and anchored by existing backers including Temasek Holdings Pte., South Korea’s Hanwha, Naver Corp. and EE Capital, the firm said in a statement. New investors included Japanese entrepreneur Taizo Son’s Mistletoe Inc. and Korea Venture Investment Corp.

“Southeast Asia’s tech ecosystem has really hit an inflection point with annual investment now measured in billions of dollars,’’ Golden Gate Ventures co-founder Vinnie Lauria said. “Yet there is a youthfulness that reminds me of Silicon Valley before 2005.’’

Founded by former Silicon Valley entrepreneurs in 2011, Golden Gate Ventures was one of the earliest VC firms to target Southeast Asia’s nascent technology sector. It has backed startups including classifieds app Carousell, Jakarta-based healthcare platform Alodokter, car marketplace Carro and peer-to-peer lending service Funding Societies.

Its two previous funds have returned 48% and 29% to date, respectively, according to the company. Mitsui Fudosan Co., IDO Investments, CTBC Group and Ion Pacific Ltd. joined other new investors in its latest fund.