Temasek's Vertex raises US$210m for South-east Asian deals

Vertex has had two funds focused on South-east Asia in the past, fully funded by Temasek, Singapore's state investment firm.
Vertex has had two funds focused on South-east Asia in the past, fully funded by Temasek, Singapore's state investment firm.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - Vertex Ventures, the venture capital arm of Temasek Holdings, has completed its biggest fundraising for South-east Asian and Indian technology deals.

The Singapore-based firm closed its third South-east Asian fund at US$210 million (S$286.6 million), a record in the region that exceeded its target of US$150 million. The money will be used for early stage investments, aiming to repeat its success with Grab. Vertex was the first institutional backer in the ride-hailing company, which went on to become one of the most valuable technology start-ups in the region.

Vertex is the oldest venture-capital firm in South-east Asia, according to Chua Joo Hock, a managing partner of Vertex Southeast Asia and India, which has offices in Singapore, Bangalore and Jakarta.

"We will expand our presence to other South-east Asian cities to better access local opportunities," he said.

Vertex Ventures SEA III marked the first time the firm raised money from outside investors such as Kasikornbank Pcl in Thailand and Cathay Life Insurance Co. in Taiwan. Vertex has had two funds focused on South-east Asia in the past, fully funded by Temasek, Singapore's state investment firm.

Some of Vertex's recent investments include InstaReM, which provides cross-border payment services in more than 40 countries; Turnkey Lender, a software company for credit assessment and loan management; and Synup, a digital marketing start-up in India. The firm plans to continue its strategy of investing in early-stage tech companies in enterprise technology, financial technology and consumer internet.