The solo GP behind iSeed SEA launches his second fund for Southeast Asia • TechCrunch

inside the event you observe Southeast Asia funding, you’re most seemingly familiar with iSeed SEA. simply a few of the startups the fund has invested in because it launched in 2020 embody Dat Bike, Skuad and Upmesh. What you will not know, nonetheless, is that iSeed SEA is a solo GP fund. Now that solo GP, AngelList alum Wing Vasiksiri, is again with a mannequin new fund, referred to as WV Fund II.

The second fund brings Wing Vasiksiri’s complete belongings beneath administration to $14 million. The core thesis of iSeed SEA and WV Fund II is to close the hole between Southeast Asia and Silicon Valley, since most of Vasiksiri’s community and a lot of of his LPs are inside the U.S. this means investing in seed-stage startups from a quantity of sectors, and introducing them to LPs or operators inside the U.S., or bringing them onboard as co-retailers.

Vasiksiri usually writes checks between $a hundred,000 to $500,000, counting on whether or not he is the lead investor or not, and the valuation stage of an group.

The 30 startups in Vasiksiri’s portfolio have raised a mixed complete of over $eighty five million in observe-on funding from a who’s who of retailers, collectively with Sequoia Capital, Y Combinator, AlphaJWC, AC Ventures, East Ventures, Jungle Ventures, Openspace Ventures, Monks Hill Ventures, Golden Gate Ventures and MDI Ventures. Some examples of his investments embody Humble, HD, digital Internships, Mio, Delos, Staffinc, Rukita and TCC.

retailers in Vasiksiri’s second fund embody institutional LPs reminiscent of Republic Capital, EGR companions (Elisabeth de Rothschild’s household office), Kamco make investments and Central Pattana. particular person LPs embody Duo founder and CEO Dug music, Albert Wenger and USV managing associate Susan Danziger, Doordash and sq. authorities Gokul Rajaram, former Airbnb China COO Kum Hong Siew and operators from Dropbox, Discord and Github.

The solo GP mannequin is new to Southeast Asia, however has gained traction in Europe and the U.S., the place Elad Gill, Lachy Groom and Josh Buckley are examples of retailers working funds on their very personal.

Vasiksiri instructed TechCrunch that solo GP funds first started inside the U.S. with angel retailers who have been getting allocations to good affords and proprietary networks, and wished to institutionalize their investing. so as that they raised capital from completely different sources to speculate at a a lot greater scale.

earlier than launching his personal funds, Vasiksiri labored in operations at AngelList, the place he obtained shut to AngelList India founder Utsav Somani, who now serves as one among his advisors and is the founding father of micro-fund iSeed. the two thought-about launching AngelList Southeast Asia, however then the pandemic obtained inside the biggest method of their plans. They continued talking to retailers and founders, nonetheless, and obtained enthusiastic about traits they have been seeing inside the area. These included a comparatively extreme GDP per capita, a rising center class and extra people approaching-line. the most important expertise of startups have been going public, collectively with seize and Bukalapak, and the draw again of downstream capital was being solved by funds like Tiger.

Vasiksiri said advantages of a solo GP fund embody velocity and transparency since he’s the one willpower maker and may decide to a spherical inside days, and even hours.

“There are each execs and cons to this mannequin, however i suppose the most vital professional is the sort of your relationships with founders is drastically completely different when the connection is completely with you. There’s no sort of hierarchy to it,” he said. “you are taking into account a commonplace fund, what a founder does is communicate to the analyst, the very biggest-tier affiliate, maybe communicate to a associate after which they communicate to ICs or GPs. Oftentimes, the founder is telling the identical story.”

With a solo GP fund, nonetheless, the GP performs all these roles. “you may dig deeper, you may actually construct up extra of an real, real relationship with the founder by spending extra time with them. i suppose it eliminates the principal/agent draw again completely.”

one other revenue is that a solo GP can relate to the experiences of founders. “I take into account myself a founder, too, simply as an alternate of starting an group, i started a fund. i suppose having that extreme empathy for the entrepreneur journey, pondering by way of associated issues and understanding how onerous it is to be a mannequin new entrant competing with incumbents on this house.”

Being a solo GP may be useful when working with completely different retailers as a consequence of Vasiksiri isn’t stopping to get extreme allocations and he doesn’t have possession requirements. This lets him collaborate as an alternate of compete with completely different funds. “As you scale up your fund, your collaborators and opponents change at every stage of them sport,” he said. “i suppose remaining disciplined and small, this fund dimension permits me to do issues like overtly share affords, preserve away from adversarial selection from completely different funds, and construct off completely different relationships in a win-win method.”

Vasiksiri focuses on Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia as his core markets, and likewise seems for alternatives inside the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand. Vasiksiri is sector agnostic, and as an alternate seems at massive contributors to GDP in every nation. for event, this embody agriculture and aquaculture in Indonesia, so Vasiksiri invests in firms like Delos, a startup creating sensors and completely different tech to assist shrimp farmers enhance their yields.

completely different areas he’s all for embody fintech, significantly funds and infrastructure, and gaming. “i suppose Southeast Asia is uniquely positioned for both an monumental sport writer or a sport developer to emerge,” he said. “There are pretty simply a few clients right here, particularly with mobile video games, and pretty simply a few gamers are positioned in Thailand, the Philippines, pretty simply a few inventive expertise as properly.” local climate tech may be one other important sector, since Southeast Asia is anticipated to show to be a web importer of pure gas by 2025, and should transition to inexperienced power.

whereas there are solely a handful of solo GPs in Southeast Asia, Vasiksiri expects extra to emerge as a consequence of the ecosystem matures, particularly as founders of worthwhile startups show to be angel retailers.

“i suppose a supply of solo GPs would possibly emerge it turns into extra institutionalized, from writing private checks to elevating funds,” he said. “that is the most important expertise of solo GPs right here and that i take into account as a consequence of the ecosystem matures, we’ll see method extra.”


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