Singapore’s Rakuten looks to expand horizons with new $100m fund


Singapore flag buttonSingapore-based early-stage investment firm Rakuten Ventures has held a $100m fundraise aimed at tech startups in Israel, Asia Pacific and the US.

The latest fundraise is far larger than the firm’s $10m South East Asia vehicle raised last year, and will allow it to focus beyond the region and Japan, it said.

Rakuten tapped its previous fund for investments in companies including Send Anywhere, Coda Payments and Carousell.

Managing partner Saemin Ahn, who will act as fund advisor for the vehicle, said, “If you just look at the last couple of years, companies like Waze and Viber are great examples of companies taking on massive issues like transportations and communications, breaking them down to their basics, and providing an engaging and sticky user experience that people have come to love and depend on.

“More Asia-based VCs are venturing out into different regions to look at investment as long-term growth vehicles.

“Since 2013, Rakuten Ventures has been one of such VCs to aggressively invest larger amounts into younger companies, to enable them to focus on product and service development.”

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