Who are Asia’s SaaS VCs?14 min read

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According to Mike Laven, CEO of Currencycloud, the one thing necessary for any company to succeed in China – or in any of the Asian countries – is to get local investment. You can read his advice and a plethora of valuable insight on Asian expansion in Notion VC’s The Journey East guide created for companies thinking of expanding to Asia.

However, it was that particular advice that stuck with us. As we first looked at bringing our leading SaaS conference to Asia and considered what help we could offer, we thought about localization and know-how about legal and cultural differences as some of the critical success factors. Financing was an obvious must but not the necessity of it being from local sources. The unique benefit of local Asian financial backers spans beyond the obvious financial injection fueling the expensive ordeal of entering and understanding Asia. What is far more valuable is a focused market strategy beyond initial scattered foray.

Realizing all that, gave us one more reason to have a look at who the funders from the region were. After singling out 38 brilliant SaaS stars, we had a suspicion we were going to find some notable fuelers of growth. After all, the mighty SoftBank and Tencent both come from the region. And we weren’t disappointed. Below is a list of what we found, using the same search filter logic – countries within 3-4 hour flight from Hong Kong: Singapore, Southern China, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Because of the local focus of the list, we have omitted some global funds that are active in the region when it comes to SaaS. Notable mentions that have helped the Asian SaaS space are 500 Startups, Y Combinator, Sequoia, Matrix Partners, Eight Roads Ventures and Intel Capital.

In May 2019 we are landing in Hong Kong to help the local ecosystem (as well as those looking to expand into it) get a fast track to growth and scale. We are bringing together investors, founders, executives, and influencers for 3 days of learning and networking. Join us by grabbing a ticket for SaaStock Asia before March 8th, when early bird rates expire.

Hong Kong

SAIF Partners

SAIF Partners is one of the top private equity firms that provides growth capital financing for Asia businesses. It has more than 100 investments since its founding in 2001. SAIF is also one of the biggest funds, investing in Hong Kong, China and India. The areas of interest are IT, mobile, consumer products and services, healthcare, cleantech, and financial services, among others.

Founded: 2001
Size of fund: $700M
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture, Private Equity, Seed
SaaS Investments: Goodera, and others

Horizons Ventures

The Hong Kong-based Horizons Ventures was founded 20 years ago, and today is one of the funds standing behind exits like Skype, Siri, Facebook, Summly and Waze. It focuses on disruptive tech businesses. The VC firm invests in a wide variety of sectors, including tech, telecommunications, internet, media, education, healthcare, culture, and community.

Founded: 1999
Size of fund: $20M
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture, Private Equity, Seed
SaaS Investments: Ezetap, and others

Cyberport Hong Kong

Cyberport Hong Kong is an ICT hub and a digital community whose aim is to enable network services for startups and founders. It is owned by the Hong Kong SAR Government and provides seed investments through its Cyberport Creative Micro Fund and  Incubation Programme.

Founded: 2011
Size of fund: $25.5M
Stage: Seed
SaaS Investments: Easyship and others

Ceyuan Ventures

Ceyuan Ventures is an early stage VC firm investing in emerging growth and IT businesses. Its focus is on IT, media and consumer goods. Ceyuan Ventures selects entrepreneurs who show promise in crafting leading technologies, backed by powerful teams and innovation.

Founded: 2004
Size of fund: $282.2M
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: NQ Mobile, and others

DST Global

DST Global is a global investor in growth internet businesses, founded in 2009 by Yuri Milner. It’s one of the leading financiers of top notch companies like Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, and many more. DST introduced a new model for providing liquidity through mixed primary and secondary transactions, known today in the field as DST deals.

Founded: 2009
Size of fund: $1.7B
Stage: Late Stage
SaaS Investments: TravelPerk, and others

Fresco Capital

The VC Fresco Capital is based in three key locations: Palo Alto, Hong Kong and Tokyo. It provides funding internationally to remarkable companies with strong human capital. Fresco Capital focuses on businesses developing new solutions in the enterprise, education, infrastructure, healthcare, consumer goods and entertainment.

Founded: 2012
Size of fund: N/A
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: LeadIQ, Pipedrive, PayrollHero and others

Click Ventures

Click Ventures is a VC that finances tech companies with high scalability promise. The funding it provides is between seed and series A stages. Click Ventures provides additional support to portfolio companies through its wide international network and media partnerships.

Founded: 2015
Size of fund: N/A
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: DocuSign, and others

Arbor Ventures

Arbor Ventures is a visionary VC focused on shaping the way the world transacts by investing in early stage companies at the intersection of financial services, data and digital commerce, through partnering with extraordinary founders and accelerating the growth of next-gen FinTech, facilitated by unparalleled strategic networks. Arbor’s team focuses on bridging the Asian opportunity with a Western approach to accelerate impact and reach globally.

Founded: 2013
Size of fund: $278.6M
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: Accounting SaaS Japan, Forter, QuanCheng and others

Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund

Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund is a not-for-profit initiative launched by Alibaba Group. Their mission is to help Hong Kong and Taiwan-based entrepreneurs and young people realize their dreams and visions for their businesses and communities. All that stems from their passion for fostering the entrepreneurial spirit amongst young people.

Founded: 2015
Size of fund: $127,395
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: GetLinks and others

Singapore

Temasek Holdings

Temasek Holdings is an investment company founded by the Singapore government in 1974. Its investment focus areas include media and tech, telecommunications, financial services, transport, life sciences and more. Temasek Holdings aims to help transform economies and growing middle-income populations.

Founded: 1974
Size of fund: $180B
Stage: Venture Capital, Angel
SaaS Investments: Manthan, and others

JAFCO Asia

For its near 30 years of existence, JAFCO Asia has turned into one of the leading venture capital firms in APAC. It has offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei, Se, ul and Beijing. JAFCO Asia has invested in 13 countries in the region in hundreds of businesses. Its investment focus is on tech companies, including SaaS.

Founded: 1990
Size of fund: $1.4B
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: Consilium Software, HRBoss, and others

Singtel Innov8

Singtel Innov8 is the VC part of Singtel Group, with offices in Singapore, San Francisco and Tel Aviv. It finances innovative tech companies across the globe, supporting them also via the Group’s resources and knowhow. Singtel Innov8 invests in businesses developing new solutions in network capabilities, next generation devices, digital services and customer experience enhancement.

Founded: 2010
Size of fund: $250M
Stage: Corporate Venture Capital
SaaS Investments: Data Republic, and others

GIC

GIC is the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, founded back in 1981. Its purpose is to invest Singapore’s assets in order to maintain their long-term purchasing power. GIC manages a diverse portfolio, including investments in high growth tech businesses.

Founded: 1981
Size of fund: $390B
Stage: Late Stage Venture
SaaS Investments: Weimob, and others

BEENEXT

BEENEXT is a Singapore-based VC investing in fintech, platforms, payments and SaaS businesses. It was founded by entrepreneurs and prides itself in having financial and support services targeted at founders’ needs. It has made near 100 investments across Southeast Asia, India, Japan, and the U.S.

Founded: 2015
Size of fund: $75M
Stage: Venture Capital
SaaS Investments: SmartHR and others

Southern China

Tencent Holdings Venture Fund

The largest Chinese gaming and social media corporation Tencent Holdings has a venture capital arm that has invested in more than 600 companies to date. The company has invested in ride-hailing, retail, online media, and electric car makers both inside and outside China. Tencent has done 43 investment deals in 2018, 72 investment deals in 2017 and 50 in 2016.

Founded: 2013
Size of fund: N/A
Stage: Seed
SaaS Investments: Mogu Zhixing, Teambition and others

Shenzhen Capital Group

Shenzhen Capital Group was established by the Shenzhen Government 20 years ago. It focuses its venture capital investments in IT, internet, new media, biopharma, new energy, and chemical engineering businesses, among others

Founded: 1999
Size of fund: $535.4M
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: Huaxuezoo, and others

Green Pine Capital

Green Pine Capital is a Shenzhen-based venture capital firm focusing on early and growth stage financing, as well as IPO investments. It manages over 60 portfolio companies around China and beyond. Green Pine has offices in Shenzhen, Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.

Founded: 2000
Size of fund: $500М
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: Yaoshibang, Zilliz and others

Japan

SoftBank Capital

SoftBank Capital is a Japanese venture capital firm that provides funding and support for founders working on disruptive solutions, with a clear focus on SaaS. It has strategic partnerships with SoftBank Corp, Yahoo! Japan and Alibaba Group, allowing it to support its portfolio companies with knowhow and networking.

Founded: 1995
Size of fund: $523M
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture, Private Equity, Seed
SaaS Investments: EdCast, and others

East Ventures

East Ventures focuses on funding companies in South East Asia and Japan. It invests in developing tech ecosystems and has funded a number of prominent tech businesses in the region, such as Tokopedia, Traveloka, Kudo, and many more.

Founded: 2010
Size of fund: $57.5M
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: Betaout, and others

CyberAgent Ventures

CyberAgent Ventures is a Tokyo-based VC investing in Japan, South Korea, China, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. It focuses on providing financing to budding internet businesses. CyberAgent Ventures also supports its portfolio companies with expertise from seed to growth.

Founded: 2006
Size of fund: $100M
Stage: Debt, Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: MoBagel, and others

Malaysia

Quester Capital

Quester Capital is a Malaysian investment company that invests venture capital in early-stage businesses. It’s a well-established wealth management firm which offers portfolio management to clients. Quester Capital is active in Southeast Asia.

Founded: 1984
Size of fund: N/A
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture
SaaS Investments: Workshare, and others

Cradle Fund

Cradle Fund is an early stage funding agency linked to the Malaysian government. Its goal is to provide funding to high-potential tech businesses through its Cradle Investment Programme. Cradle Fund offers grant and equity funding, as well as support through coaching and growth assistance.

Founded: 2003
Size of fund: $9.9M
Stage: Pre-seed, Seed and Early Stage
SaaS Investments: SalesCandy, KEPP, Dropee.com, and others

Taiwan

China Development Industrial Bank (CDIB)

Among its diverse banking and investment activities, China Development Industrial Bank (CDIB) is one of the pioneers in venture capital in Taiwan. Its Capital Group makes investments in high-tech businesses in the Asia Pacific region. It’s also running the Capital Innovation Accelerator Fund targeted at cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), mobile and e-commerce startups.

Founded: 1959
Size of fund: N/A
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture
SaaS Investments: Zentera Systems

Foxconn Technology Group

Foxconn Technology Group is a world technological leader in electronics contract manufacturing. In addition to its international manufacturing and distribution base, the company also provides investments for tech businesses in Southeast Asia and beyond.

Founded: 1974
Size of fund: N/A
Stage: Seed, Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture
SaaS Investments: Vuclip, and others

South Korea

Samsung Ventures

Samsung Ventures is the investment arm of the Samsung corporation, based in South Korea. Its goal is to provide funding to tech businesses in fields like semiconductors, mobile, internet, security, enterprise, and more. Samsung Ventures makes yearly investments of $250M.  

Founded: 1999
Size of fund: $600M
Stage: Debt, Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture, Private Equity, Seed
SaaS Investments: Tamr, and others

Capstone Partners

Capstone Partners is a venture capital company investing mainly in South Korea and China. Its interest areas include IT, wireless, internet, and pharmaceutical, among others. Capstone Partners typically exits investments through a trade sale.

Founded: 2008
Size of fund: N/A
Stage: Early Stage Venture
SaaS Investments: Albam, and others

Kakao Ventures

Kakao Ventures is among the top early-stage VCs in South Korea. Its focus is on mobile and software, with an accent on collaborating with entrepreneurs with game-changing ideas. Kakao Ventures provides not only financial support to its portfolio businesses, but also practical assistance from the very early stages.

Founded: 2012
Size of fund: $765M
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: WhaTap Labs, and others

The Philippines

Kickstart Ventures

Kickstart Ventures is a subsidiary of the telecommunications company Globe Telecom. Its purpose is to support tech entrepreneurs in the Philippines. Kickstart Ventures provides financing, as well as mentorship, facilities and networking opportunities to startups in order to help them grow and become profitable.

Founded: 2012
Size of fund: $5M
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: MyLegalWhiz, SquadZip, and others

Manila Angel Investors Network

Manila Angel Investors Network is the most prominent private investors network in the Philippines. It aims to nurture the startup ecosystem in the country by providing financing options for early stage businesses, as well as mentorship and networking. The Network invests in IoT, SaaS, fintech, and retail, among others.

Founded: 2016
Size of fund: N/A
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: PhilSmile and Qwikwire

Thailand

Ardent Capital

Ardent Capital focuses on investing in early-stage tech companies from Southeast Asia that develop ecommerce, B2B and logistics solutions. It assists portfolio companies with capital, as well as with help in strategy, marketing, tech, and HR. In 2016, Ardent Capital merged with Wavemaker Partners.

Founded: 2011
Size of fund: $13M
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: PicoCandy, and others

InVent Capital

InVent Capital is the venture capital project of Intouch Group and is among the pioneers in startup investments in Thailand. It invests in high-growth businesses developing solutions in mobile, telecommunications, IT, cloud, and internet. InVent invests around $7 million per year in Thailand and Southeast Asia.

Founded: 2012
Size of fund: N/A
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture
SaaS Investments: Golfdigg, and others

Vietnam

Seedfund

Seedfund is a investment and consulting firm that supports the Vietnamese tech ecosystem. It sources potential local startups and connects them with local and foreign investors. Seedfund also helps startups with raising capital by providing them with support and investment connections.

Founded: 2013
Size of fund: N/A
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: BrownTape, AxisRooms, and others

Vietnam Innovative Startup Accelerator

Vietnam Innovative Startup Accelerator is also known as VIISA and is an accelerator program for Vietnamese startups. It partners with leading corporations to provide financing and mentorship to businesses that are ready to develop internationally. VIISA operates in five countries and has a network of more than 3,500 business partners.

Founded: 2017
Size of fund: $6M
Stage: Seed
SaaS Investments: WeFit and Base.vn

Indonesia

Convergence Ventures

Convergence Ventures is a tech venture fund with a focus on developing the startup landscape in Indonesia. It funds early stage tech businesses with exceptional founders, so that they can fulfil their potential in the country and the Southeast Asia region. Convergence Ventures is founded and run by entrepreneurs Adrian Li and Donald Wihardja.

Founded: 2014
Size of fund: $30M
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: KoinWorks, and others

MDI Ventures

MDI Ventures is the venture capital arm of Telkom Indonesia. It’s based in Jakarta, but also operates in Singapore and in the Silicon Valley. MDI Ventures seeks companies in online, media and mobile fields, developing solutions in cloud computing, payment solutions, Big Data, and more. It also provides operational assistance after financing.

Founded: 2015
Size of fund: $100M
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: Anchanto, Cloudike, and others

Alpha JWC Ventures

Alpha JWC Ventures is a venture capital firm focusing on fintech and consumer tech businesses from Indonesia. With its rich experience on the tech market in the country, it offers strategic help and a global network to its portfolio companies. Alpha JWC Ventures are a suitable partner for companies that want to launch operations in Indonesia.

Founded: 2015
Size of fund: $100M
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: Base.vn, and others

We are on a mission to understand the Asian SaaS space much better in order to uncover where the opportunities for growth are and how our leading SaaS conference can be of most help. Help us by filling out this survey. We are giving away discounts for SaaStock Asia for all participants.

You will be able to meet many of these investors at SaaStock Asia, taking place May 14-16 in Hong Kong where together we will be learning how to navigate the Asian market better and expand successfully. Grab a ticket before March 8th when prices increase.

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