Venture capital (VC) firm Beenext recently announced on their website that they have secured a total of US$160 million in two separate funds that will be used to invest in startups in the Southeast Asian region, India and Japan.
According to Beenext, the investors for the new funds include major institutional investors in the US, Japanese corporations, global family offices, and entrepreneurs backing the next generation founders.
The Beenext Emerging Asia Fund which has US$110 million in deployable investments will be focused on supporting early-stage Southeast Asian and Indian startups and founders – half of which would be specifically allotted to startups in India. In their statement, Beenext will prioritize the Emerging Asia fund for startups in the e-commerce, fintech, health-tech, agri-tech, edu-tech and AI/data-driven scene. On the other hand, the second fund amounting to US$50 million would be exclusively directed to SaaS (software as a service) businesses in Japan.
Founded in 2015, the Singapore-based VC has since invested in a total of 180 startups, with 72 of them being Indian startups. To add, the Emerging Asia Fund marks the firm's fourth consecutive Indian-focused fund. The startup shared in their statement that the decision to centre their funds in India is based on their confidence that the country is able to “lead innovation and growth in the post-COVID era of accelerated global digitization.”
Beenext's Founder and Managing Partner, Teruhide Sato, commented on the development and shared that “COVID-19 has impacted every aspect of global business, but we continue to see start-up founders pushing the boundaries to not only survive but thrive in this environment. The relentless attitude of founders will mean that solutions for a post-COVID world will also come from them. Now more than ever, we feel the need to nurture the entrepreneurial ecosystem to ensure we bounce back as a strong community of founders. Beenext has always believed in building businesses together with founders and fellow local co-investors to have a lasting impact. We look forward to co-creating and growing together with more start-ups in India.”
On the matter of possible mergers or acquisitions between startups amidst the increasingly cautious approach by investors given the pandemic, Sato opined that “There is a chance for the number one company to acquire the number two company (in the same space) and become an overwhelming number one company. There is also a chance for number two firm, with a unique angle, to catch up with number one, if it's very unique, as consumer behaviour is different (post-pandemic).”
Given Beenext and its Founder's optimistic and astute assessment on the startup climate in the regions, early-stage enterprises and business owners can look forward to the Emerging Asia Funds in their next financing rounds.