The solo GP behind iSeed SEA launches his second fund for Southeast Asia •

When you comply with Southeast Asia funding, you’re most likely conversant in iSeed SEA. Among the startups the fund has invested in because it launched in 2020 embrace Dat Bike, Skuad and Upmesh. What you may not know, nevertheless, is that iSeed SEA is a solo GP fund. Now that solo GP, AngelList alum Wing Vasiksiri, is again with a brand new fund, known as WV Fund II.

The second fund brings Wing Vasiksiri’s complete property below administration to $14 million. The core thesis of iSeed SEA and WV Fund II is to shut the hole between Southeast Asia and Silicon Valley, since most of Vasiksiri’s community and plenty of of his LPs are within the U.S. This implies investing in seed-stage startups from a variety of sectors, and introducing them to LPs or operators within the U.S., or bringing them onboard as co-investors.

Vasiksiri usually writes checks between $100,000 to $500,000, relying on whether or not he’s the lead investor or not, and the valuation stage of an organization.

The 30 startups in Vasiksiri’s portfolio have raised a mixed complete of over $85 million in follow-on funding from a who’s who of buyers, together with Sequoia Capital, Y Combinator, AlphaJWC, AC Ventures, East Ventures, Jungle Ventures, Openspace Ventures, Monks Hill Ventures, Golden Gate Ventures and MDI Ventures. Some examples of his investments embrace Humble, HD, Digital Internships, Mio, Delos, Staffinc, Rukita and TCC.

Buyers in Vasiksiri’s second fund embrace institutional LPs equivalent to Republic Capital, EGR Companions (Elisabeth de Rothschild’s household workplace), Kamco Make investments and Central Pattana. Particular person LPs embrace Duo founder and CEO Dug Track, Albert Wenger and USV managing companion Susan Danziger, Doordash and Sq. government Gokul Rajaram, former Airbnb China COO Kum Hong Siew and operators from Dropbox, Discord and Github.

The solo GP mannequin is new to Southeast Asia, however has gained traction in Europe and the U.S., the place Elad Gill, Lachy Groom and Josh Buckley are examples of buyers working funds on their very own.

Vasiksiri instructed that solo GP funds first began within the U.S. with angel buyers who had been getting allocations to good offers and proprietary networks, and wished to institutionalize their investing. So that they raised capital from different sources to speculate at a bigger scale.

Earlier than launching his personal funds, Vasiksiri labored in operations at AngelList, the place he obtained near AngelList India founder Utsav Somani, who now serves as one in every of his advisors and is the founding father of micro-fund iSeed. The 2 thought of launching AngelList Southeast Asia, however then the pandemic obtained in the way in which of their plans. They continued speaking to buyers and founders, nevertheless, and obtained enthusiastic about tendencies they had been seeing within the area. These included a comparatively excessive GDP per capita, a rising center class and extra individuals coming on-line. The primary era of startups had been going public, together with Seize and Bukalapak, and the issue of downstream capital was being solved by funds like Tiger.

Vasiksiri mentioned advantages of a solo GP fund embrace velocity and transparency since he’s the one resolution maker and may decide to a spherical inside days, and even hours.

“There are each execs and cons to this mannequin, however I feel the most important professional is the form of your relationships with founders is drastically completely different when the connection is solely with you. There’s no form of hierarchy to it,” he mentioned. “You concentrate on a conventional fund, what a founder does is speak to the analyst, the top-tier affiliate, perhaps speak to a companion after which they speak to ICs or GPs. Oftentimes, the founder is telling the identical story.”

With a solo GP fund, nevertheless, the GP performs all these roles. “You may dig deeper, you may actually construct up extra of an genuine, real relationship with the founder by spending extra time with them. I feel it eliminates the principal/agent drawback solely.”

One other profit is {that a} solo GP can relate to the experiences of founders. “I think about myself a founder, too, simply as an alternative of beginning an organization, I began a fund. I feel having that top empathy for the entrepreneur journey, considering by way of related issues and understanding how arduous it’s to be a brand new entrant competing with incumbents on this house.”

Being a solo GP can also be useful when working with different buyers as a result of Vasiksiri isn’t preventing to get excessive allocations and he doesn’t have possession necessities. This lets him collaborate as an alternative of compete with different funds. “As you scale up your fund, your collaborators and rivals change at each stage of them recreation,” he mentioned. “I feel remaining disciplined and small, this fund dimension permits me to do issues like brazenly share offers, keep away from adversarial choice from different funds, and construct off different relationships in a win-win manner.”

Vasiksiri focuses on Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia as his core markets, and in addition seems for alternatives within the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand. Vasiksiri is sector agnostic, and as an alternative seems at large contributors to GDP in every nation. For instance, this embrace agriculture and aquaculture in Indonesia, so Vasiksiri invests in corporations like Delos, a startup growing sensors and different tech to assist shrimp farmers enhance their yields.

Different areas he’s inquisitive about embrace fintech, notably funds and infrastructure, and gaming. “I feel Southeast Asia is uniquely positioned for both an enormous recreation writer or a recreation developer to emerge,” he mentioned. “There are plenty of customers right here, particularly with cellular video games, and plenty of gamers are situated in Thailand, the Philippines, plenty of artistic expertise as nicely.” Local weather tech can also be one other vital sector, since Southeast Asia is predicted to develop into a web importer of pure gasoline by 2025, and must transition to inexperienced power.

Whereas there are solely a handful of solo GPs in Southeast Asia, Vasiksiri expects extra to emerge because the ecosystem matures, particularly as founders of profitable startups develop into angel buyers.

“I feel a supply of solo GPs may emerge it turns into extra institutionalized, from writing private checks to elevating funds,” he mentioned. “That is the primary era of solo GPs right here and I consider because the ecosystem matures, we’ll see much more.”

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