Wavemaker succeeding outside of SE Asia consumer boom, hits $60m Fund III first close

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Southeast Asia’s huge growth in consumer demand is driving massive amounts of venture capital into the region – but a $60m first close for Wavemaker’s third fund shows there are other opportunities to be had.

The firm said that although it has had its success stories in the consumer sector, more than 80 per cent of its deals since 2012 have been in Southeast Asian enterprise and deeptech businesses.

That strategy has paid off for Wavemaker, with its funds moving from $6.5m to a $50m sophomore vehicle – and the firm has eyes on up to $100m for Fund III following a strong start to the raise.

Investors in the fund to date include Pavilion Capital, IFC and Temasek, as well as the family offices of the co-founders of Microsoft (Vulcan) and Facebook (EE Capital).

Singapore’s Keppel Corporation, multi-family office Aglaia Family Office, and Lance Gokongwei, CEO of Philippine conglomerate JG Summit Holdings, have also committed capital to the vehicle.

Wavemaker said it anticipates investing in 60 new companies with an initial check size of about $500,000.

Paul Santos, managing partner for Wavemaker, said, “Most VCs in SEA invest in consumer tech.

“We’re grateful to have had our share of consumer success with Luxola, acquired by LVMH, and Coins.ph, acquired by Gojek.

“However, 88 out the 109 investments we’ve made since 2012 have been in enterprise and deep tech startups – about 81 per cent.

“This is where we’ve built our experience, expertise, and network. This is where our conviction and momentum have grown.

“With this new fund, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to work with many of the best enterprise and deep tech founders in the region.”

Companies that have received significant funding from Wavemaker to date include: Zilingo, ThinCI, Moka, and CashShield.

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