singapore startups attracting strong venture capital flows 1525072015

The Venturra Capital Fund from Indonesian group Lippo makes its debut.

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By :  ,  Financial Analyst

Startups in Singapore, and across South East Asia, are drawing increasing attention from venture capitalists. Apart from the booming e-commerce sector in the ASEAN sector, where online retail revenues are expected to jump to US$34.5 billion by 2018 from a mere US$7 billion in 2013, VC funds are eyeing funding opportunities in financial services, health care and education.

On Thursday (October 8), the Lippo Group sponsored Venturra Capital inaugurated its US$150 million Venturra Fund I targeted at technology and internet businesses in South-east Asia. The Lippo Group is a large, diversified consumer services group in Indonesia, with a focus on real estate development.

Though the new fund is proposed to be headquartered in Jakarta, the fund is actively meeting with startups located across South East Asia, and Singapore in particular, according to the Business Times.

A recent report from global data company Preqin and the Singapore Venture Capital & Private Equity Association said deal activity in the ASEAN has seen upward trends, with aggregate deal value reaching record levels of US$9.3bn for private equity-backed buyout deals and US$1bn for venture deals in 2014. Singapore continued to be a major investment hub with Singapore-based fund managers accounting for more than 55% of total private equity and venture capital investments into Southeast Asia in 2014.

“Singapore’s stable legal structure, pro-business tax environment and government incentives for technology start-ups continued to be attractive for the setup of both early stage enterprises and venture capital funds,” the Preqin report said.

The Venturra Fund has already clinched more than 10 investments in the region, including Singapore, a spokeswoman said, with detailed announcements to follow.

CNBC reported that Singapore-headquartered VC firm Jungle Ventures is currently in the process of raising a $100 million second fund.

Singapore is now commonly referred to as Asia’s answer to Silicon Valley, and the republic’s wealth fund Temasek has already invested SG$190 million in the domestic VC scene.

Yesterday, Temasek’s VC unit GGV announced that it is leading a US$3.5 million funding round in HipVan, a Singapore-based online home furnishings store.

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