US-based venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners has announced its foray into Southeast Asia. In a LinkedIn post, the firm said it has officially established its regional headquarters in Singapore “to partner and support bold entrepreneurs building disruptive companies”.
This is the sixth global expansion for Lightspeed after India, US, China, Israel, and Europe. After Sequoia, Lightspeed would be the second VC firm to establish a base in Southeast Asia.
Separately, a LinkedIn post by Akshay Bhushan, a partner at Lightspeed and now part of the Southeast Asia team, shared more details including how their new base will help in managing their operations in Singapore as well as Jakarta, recognized as international startup hubs.
“We’re looking forward to serving this opportunity, to help build innovative companies and more than anything else, we’re looking forward to partnering with the bold founders of Southeast Asia, looking to create a new tomorrow, today,” Bhushan said in his post.
Lightspeed would explore deals in sectors such as commerce, fintech, edtech, among others. The financing for the new investments would be made from $4 billion worth global funds, which were announced in April 2020, Bhushan wrote.
Importantly, Lightspeed had already announced a new Lightspeed Opportunity Fund of $1.5 billion to specifically invest in early and growth-stage startups in India and Southeast Asia.
Along with Bhushan, the Southeast Asian team will have Bejul Somaia as partner and Pinn Lawjindakul and Marsha Sugana as vice president and senior investment associate respectively. Bhushan was a founding member of Flipkart’s corporate development team before joining Lightspeed five years ago while Somaia has played a key role in setting up Lightspeed India.
Lawjindakul is a veteran of Grab and Tiger Global Management while Sugana’s past tenures include stints at L Catterton and Goldman Sachs.
Having made more than 800 investments and helping over 400 companies since its inception in 2000, Lightspeed’s portfolio companies in India include B2B e-commerce marketplace Udaan, HR tech startup Darwinbox, Zetwerk, ThoughtSpot, Magicpin, Freight Tiger, among others.
Lightspeed currently controls $10.5 billion assets under management with investment professionals and advisors in Silicon Valley, Israel, India, China, Southeast Asia and Europe. Last month, the VC firm had closed its third India-focused fund at $275 million.