In an electrifying move, Korea Investment Partners Southeast Asia (KIPSEA), an offshoot of Korea Investment Partners (KIP), has triumphantly sealed a $60 million deal for its inaugural Southeast Asia venture capital fund. This financial endeavor has sparked a wave of enthusiasm and has garnered the support of esteemed institutional investors from South Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Among the notable contributors are Samsung Life Insurance, Korea Development Bank, Korea Growth Investment Corporation, D.camp, Woomi Global, Mirana Ventures, and Korea Investment & Securities Asia.
Venture investment in South Korea has witnessed a remarkable transformation in the first half of this year. Investment levels have undergone a seismic shift, experiencing a substantial 42% decline compared to the previous year's corresponding period. In response to this dynamic shift, the Korean Ministry of SMEs and Startups has embarked on a mission to reinvigorate venture investment in the region. The South Korean startup ecosystem is witnessing a renewed surge of investments, with numerous entities channeling their funds into these promising ventures. The latest entrant from South Korea on this scene is none other than KIPSEA.
Founded in 1986, KIP stands as a subsidiary of the publicly-listed Korea Investment Holdings, a financial conglomerate with a diverse array of financial verticals, including securities, asset management, banking, credit finance, private equity, and real estate. The newly-minted fund is earmarked for channeling investments into early-stage, high-growth technology startups in Southeast Asia, spanning from Seed to Series B rounds. Furthermore, a portion of the fund has been set aside to support South Korean companies venturing into the Southeast Asian landscape. The fund's strategic focus will encompass sectors of paramount significance, such as fintech, proptech, and enterprise software.
Bolstered by an impressive $3 billion in assets under its watch, KIP has extended its support to over 900 companies. Some of the illustrious names in its portfolio include Kakao, Naver, and YG Entertainment from South Korea, as well as Halodoc and Tiki.vn from Indonesia and Vietnam, respectively.
With a steadfast commitment to Southeast Asia's thriving technological landscape, Synclare Kim, Head of KIPSEA, voiced the fund's strategic intent: "Underpinned by strong macroeconomic factors and the development of technological and digital capabilities within the region, Southeast Asia remains a key target market for KIP. We target to utilize KIP's strategic networks and the strength of its ecosystem to identify and nurture early-stage, high-potential, and category-defining companies across the region." The launch of KIPSEA's inaugural venture fund marks a significant leap towards nurturing the next wave of tech pioneers in Southeast Asia.