Global investors see value in sharpening focus on SE Asia

With Akshay Bhushan, Partner, Lightspeed (India and SEA)

JP Lee, CEO, SoftBank Ventures Asia

SoftBank Ventures Asia and Lightspeed Venture Partners, two of the most prolific global investors with a strong regional focus, have actively deepened their footprint in the SE Asian tech space.

Set up as a SoftBank Group subsidiary called SoftBank Ventures Korea in 2000, the firm rebranded as SoftBank Ventures Asia in 2019 to better reflect its expanded focus. The VC firm has made several notable investments in SE Asia such as Indonesian e-commerce unicorn Tokopedia, Vietnamese online marketplace Sendo, and Singapore’s used car platform Carro. It has over $1.1 billion of funds under management and has invested in over 250 companies across 15 funds. The firm’s mandate is to invest in startups that leverage AI to build highly disruptive products and services.

Lightspeed Venture Partners officially opened its presence in SE Asia with an office in Singapore last year. Its prominent investments in the region include Grab, Chilibeli, Ula, Shipper, NextBillion, Nas Academy and Endowus. Lightspeed typically invests from the seed to Series B stages in the commerce, fintech, edtech and SaaS sectors. Lightspeed invests in the region from its $890 million Lightspeed Venture Partners XIII (US fund) and $275 million Lightspeed India Partners III (India fund).

We will learn more from J P Lee and Akshay Bhushan as they take us through what has changed in the tech investment landscape post-pandemic and the emergence of new technologies and business models that will ride on the accelerated online adoption in the region.