AC Ventures reaches first shut of a $250M fund for Southeast Asian startups • TechCrunch


AC Ventures (ACV), a enterprise agency targeted on early-stage startups in Indonesia and the remainder of Southeast Asia, has reached the primary shut of its fifth funding fund (Fund V). The fund is focusing on $250 million and has raised 65% of that capital thus far, largely from restricted companions who invested in ACV’s earlier funds. Fund V has already made 5 investments, together with SkorLife, IDEAL and Atma.

The final time TechCrunch coated ACV was in December 2021, when it closed its Fund III. (Its fourth fund is targeted on Malaysia and run by a separate staff).

Based in 2014, ACV’s portfolio now has over 120 investments in Indonesia and the remainder of Southeast Asia. Some noteworthy corporations embody Xendit, Carsome, Stockbit, Ula, Shipper and Aruna. Its staff has grown to 35 individuals, with most based mostly in Indonesia, however ACV additionally lately established Singapore and Malaysia workplaces. Half of ACV’s management staff are ladies and throughout its portfolio that determine is 40%.

ACV lately employed Helen Wong as managing companion. Wong beforehand labored at GGV and Qiming Ventures and has served on the boards of startups like Tudou and Mobike.

The agency is sector-agnostic, however lots of its investments are in fintech, logistics, e-commerce, MSME and client expertise. Fund V may even give attention to new themes together with local weather tech. The agency’s test measurement in early-stage corporations is usually $2 million, and it reserves a big a part of every fund for follow-on investments.

“Broadly talking, we’re investing within the digitization of Indonesia and the Southeast Asia financial system,” ACV co-founder and managing companion Adrian Li advised TechCrunch. “Final 12 months, Indonesia’s digital GDP was $70 billion and that’s anticipated to develop to over $350 billion within the subsequent 5 to 6 years. By way of our expertise of investing over previous funds, we’ve additionally developed experience, notably round commerce alternatives, fintech and micro- and small enterprises. Every of those thematic areas signify actually deep swimming pools of income potential and we’re seeing numerous methods during which digital adoption can actually make issues extra environment friendly, value much less and create worth for all of the stakeholders in these verticals.”

Along with Southeast Asia, Fund V’s LPs come from North Asia, the USA, the Center East and Europe. Li mentioned international buyers are drawn to Southeast Asia because it continues to indicate proof of being a maturing market, with the profitable IPOs of unicorns like GoTo and Bukalapak, a rise in later-stage capital and extra secondary exits.

ACV managing companions Michael Soerijadji, Helen Wong, Adrian Li and Pandu Sjahrir Picture Credit: ACV

With its give attention to early-stage corporations, ACV is usually the primary institutional investor in startups.

“Our fund performs on a profitable technique we’ve continued to refine to be early-stage targeted,” mentioned Li. “Which means backing corporations at some extent the place we could be actually priceless within the shaping of a enterprise as they construct it, and likewise at some extent the place we could be significant buyers partnered with them. We sometimes put money into 30 to 35 corporations per fund and reserve a deep follow-up ratio, 20-1, to put money into corporations which are executing and creating worth.”

ACV’s efforts to assist founders embody a number of key appointments who will work intently with startups. They’re Lauren Blasco as head of ESG, Leighton Cosseboom as head of PR and communications, and Alan Hellawell as a senior advisor and enterprise companion.

The agency’s value-add consists of working with founders to rent key expertise and sharing expertise operation playbooks. Li mentioned ACV likes to take a position early as a result of as groups develop, it could possibly assist startups lay down fundamentals for tradition, retaining expertise and communication. It additionally helps corporations with compliance and governance, like ensuring they’ve useful boards and a great set of advisors.

One other a part of its value-creation initiatives are partnerships with conglomerates and enterprise stakeholders in Indonesia that may assist startups speed up the expansion of their enterprise. For instance, it helps fintech corporations work with banks or entry capital they will use for lending.

Li mentioned that ACV sometimes invests in 10 to 12 corporations per 12 months throughout its funds, and that continues regardless of the international slowdown in enterprise capital investing. “At instances when cash is less complicated, we might attempt to transfer a bit quicker, and at instances like this, we might attempt to transfer a bit slower, however essentially what we’re attempting to do is underwrite for the precise corporations, and so we don’t wish to be rushed by the timing of how the market is,” he mentioned.

Although valuations throughout all phases have fallen by about 30% to 40%, Li additionally sees upsides available in the market surroundings, together with within the high quality of entrepreneurs.

“What’s nice about one of these interval is that entrepreneurs are targeted rather more on high quality metrics and product-market match earlier than beginning to scale their companies,” he mentioned. “I believe lats 12 months when capital was straightforward, in all probability a lot of corporations chasing topline progress had scaled prematurely, and that’s by no means essentially the most environment friendly use of capital. It’s merely attempting to seize market share and get the subsequent spherical, so I believe instances like this are good for each entrepreneurs and buyers alike.”

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