Wilson Cuaca, co-founder of East Ventures, right, with then Information Minister Rudiantara and former head of Creative Economy Agency Triawan Munaf and Sinar Mas's chairman Franky O. Widjaja at EV Growth's launch event back in 2018. (SP Photo/Ruht Semiono)

Sinar Mas-Backed Venture Capital EV Growth Closes $250m Funding Round

DECEMBER 30, 2019

Jakarta. Singapore-based venture capital EV Growth has closed a $250 million funding round that also involved Singapore's sovereign fund Temasek and several unnamed Asian conglomerates, exceeding its $150 million initial target, the company said in a statement on Monday. 

Early-stage venture capital firm East Ventures, Sinar Mas Digital Ventures, an investment arm of the Indonesian palm oil conglomerate Sinar Mas Group, and Yahoo! Japan Capital established EV Growth in March last year to invest in fast-growing startups in Southeast Asia, such as co-working space provider CoHive, online shopping reward service Shopback and Indonesian peer-to-peer lending Koinworks. 

Four out of five EV Growth investment deals were in Indonesian-based startups.

"The inflection point in Southeast Asia is now and we are fortunate to be here earlier. Our operational experience, transaction speed, local knowledge and regional networks have helped us get some of the best deals in the region," Wilson Cuaca, the managing partner of EV Growth and co-founder of East Ventures, said in a statement. 

Wilson said the company plans to invest $325 million in Southeast Asian startups in the early- and growth-stages.

EV Growth has channeled more than 50 percent of the total funding they collected into 20 deals, including with e-commerce Tokopedia, online travel agent Traveloka, insurance technology company Fuse, beverage company Fore Coffee, small-medium enterprises development firm Mekari, media company IDN Media, property tech company 99.co and payment firm Xendit.

Just last week, EV Growth was involved in a fresh funding round for Ruangguru — an Indonesian education platform founded by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's advisor Adamas Belva Syah Devara and his partner Iman Usman — that East Venture had been investing in since 2014. 

In the $150 million Series C funding, EV Growth joined General Atlantic, GGV Capital, UOB Venture Management and several existing investors. 

"We are strongly committed to East Ventures and look forward to working together with them to achieve greater things," Ruangguru chief executive Belva said. 

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