Temasek's Vertex raises $286m for tech deals in S-E Asia and India

Singapore-based Vertex was the first institutional backer in the ride-hailing company Grab, which went on to become one of the most valuable technology start-ups in South-east Asia.
Singapore-based Vertex was the first institutional backer in the ride-hailing company Grab, which went on to become one of the most valuable technology start-ups in South-east Asia.PHOTO: REUTERS

Vertex Venture Holdings, 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 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 of the ride-hailing company, which went on to become one of the most valuable technology start-ups in the region.

It is the oldest venture capital firm in South-east Asia, according to Mr Chua Joo Hock, a managing partner of Vertex South-east 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," Mr Chua said.

Vertex Ventures SEA III marked the first time the firm raised money from outside investors such as Kasikornbank in Thailand and Cathay Life Insurance in Taiwan.

Vertex Ventures closed its third South-east Asian fund at US$210 million (S$286 million), a record in the region that exceeded its target of US$150 million.

The firm 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.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 10, 2017, with the headline 'Temasek's Vertex raises $286m for tech deals in S-E Asia and India'. Print Edition | Subscribe