Venture firm Cocoon Capital raises $30m for 2nd tech start-up fund

Cocoon Capital announced an initiative to host public mentoring hours in several countries to help grow entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Cocoon Capital announced an initiative to host public mentoring hours in several countries to help grow entrepreneurial ecosystems.PHOTO: COCOON CAPITAL / FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Singapore-based venture firm Cocoon Capital has raised $30 million for its second fund to aid enterprise tech start-ups in South-east Asia.

The fund is backed by the following investors: Michelle Yong, director of Singapore's Aurum Investments; Jani Rautiainen, co-founder of property retail platform PropertyGuru; and Parag Khanna, author of The Future is Asian.

Others include Pierre Lorinet, director at commodities trading company Trafigura Group; Matthew Chapman, founder of HR service firm ChapmanCG; and Stein Jakob Øie, former president at e-commerce platform Lazada.

Joining them are hedge fund manager Vulpes Innovative Technologies Investment Company; Martin Hauge, a partner in Creandum, which is Spotify's first financial investor; Martin Roll, global strategy consultant; and Oliver Tonby, chairman of McKinsey's offices in Asia.

Funds raised will directly support start-ups in the region. Start-ups in sectors such as medtech, fintech, insurtech and other general deeptech companies have been singled out.

The fund has already invested in Kargo Myanmar, a logistics platform that aims to make goods transportation more efficient.

Additionally, the firm also announced an initiative to host public mentoring hours regularly across Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Manila, Bangkok, Jakarta and Yangon to help grow the local entrepreneurial ecosystems. The support will be provided in partnership with local accelerators and co-working spaces.

Mentoring sessions are set to work like "office hours", where Cocoon Capital sets aside time for startups to discuss with the firm regarding pitching, getting advice from Cocoon, or to understand what investors look out for in general. For Cocoon, the initiative serves to improve the firm's deal pipeline and help their efforts to develop the startup ecosystem.

Michael Blakey, managing partner at Cocoon Capital, said: "Over the last three years, we at Cocoon Capital have seen a radical improvement in deal quality, in particular from the South-east Asia countries outside Singapore."

"The region has gigantic challenges that need to be solved by technology, and we believe we can help founders build and scale their companies faster," he added.

Some portfolio companies under Cocoon Capital include cleantech firm Sensorflow that help to save energy in hotel rooms and ticketing company Hapz.

"Many founders in the region lack a support network similar to those in Silicon Valley, London or Shanghai, and we are here to change that," said Will Klippgen, managing partner at Cocoon Capital.