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

If you follow sponsorship in Southeast Asia, you are probably familiar with iSeed SEA. Some of the startups the fund has invested in since its launch in 2020 include Reach Bike, Skuad And Upmesh. What you may not know, however, is that iSeed SEA is a single GP fund. Now that solo GP, AngelList alum Wing Vasiksiri, is back with a new fund, called WV Fund II.

The second fund brings Wing Vasiksiri’s total assets under management to $14 million. The core thesis of iSeed SEA and WV Fund II is to bridge the gap between Southeast Asia and Silicon Valley, as most of Vasiksiri’s network and many of his LPs are in the US. This means investing in seed-stage startups from a variety of sectors and introducing them to LPs or operators in the US, or bringing them on board as co-investors .

Vasiksiri typically writes checks for $100,000 to $500,000, depending on whether he is a primary investor and the valuation stage of a company.

The 30 startups in Vasiksiri’s portfolio have raised a total of more than $85 million in follow-up funding from investors, including Sequoia Capital, Y Combinator, AlphaJWC, AC Ventures, East Ventures, Jungle Ventures, Openspace Ventures, Monks Hill Ventures MDI, Golden Gate Ventures and MDI Ventures. Some examples of his investments include Modest, HD, Virtual internship, Mio, Delos, staff, rukita And TCC.

Investors in Vasiksiri’s second fund include institutional LPs such as Republic Capital, EGR Partners (family office of Elisabeth de Rothschild), Kamco Invest and Central Pattana. Individual LPs include Duo founder and CEO Dug Song, Albert Wenger and USV managing partner Susan Danziger, Doordash and Square CEO Gokul Rajaram, and former Airbnb China CEO Kum Hong Siew and operators from Dropbox, Discord, and Github.

The new GP solo model in Southeast Asia, but already gaining traction in Europe and the United States, where Elad Gill, Lachy Groom and Josh Buckley are examples of self-directed investors.

Vasiksiri told TechCrunch that private GP funds first started in the US with angel investors, who are getting allocations for good deals and proprietary networks, and want to institutionalize their investment. Therefore, they have raised capital from other sources to invest on a larger scale.

Prior to founding his own foundation, Vasiksiri worked in operations at AngelList, where he had a close relationship with AngelList India founder Utsav Somani, who is now one of his mentors and a iSeed micro fund founder. The two thought of launching AngelList Southeast Asia, but then the pandemic thwarted their plans. However, they continue to talk to investors and founders, and are excited about the trends they are seeing in the region. These include a relatively high GDP per capita, a growing middle class, and more people going online. The first generation of startups that have gone public include Grab and Bukalapak, and the problem of downstream capital is being solved by funds like Tiger.

Vasiksiri says the benefits of a single GP fund include speed and transparency as he is the sole decision maker and can commit to a round within days or even hours.

“This model has both pros and cons, but I think the biggest advantage is that the shape of your relationship with the founders will be dramatically different when the relationship is purely with you. There’s no kind of hierarchy to it, he said. “You think of a traditional fund, what the founders do is talk to the analyst, the top associate, maybe talk to the partner and then they talk to the IC or the GP. Often, the founder is telling the same story.”

With the personal GP fund, however, the GP plays all of those roles. “You can dig deeper, you can actually build a more genuine, authentic relationship with founders by spending more time with them. I think it completely eliminates the fiduciary/agent problem.”

Another benefit is that a solo GP can relate to the experience of the founders. “I also consider myself a founder, instead of starting a company, I set up a fund. I think there’s a high degree of empathy for the entrepreneurial journey, thinking about the same things, and understanding that it’s hard to be a new entrant competing with incumbents in the field.”

Being a GP alone is also helpful when working with other investors as Vasiksiri doesn’t struggle to get a high allocation and he has no ownership requirements. This allows him to cooperate rather than compete with other funds. “As you scale your fund, your collaborators and competitors change at every stage of the game,” he said. “I think maintaining the discipline and small size, this fund size allows me to do things like publicly share trading, avoid adverse selection from other funds and build other relationships. in a mutually beneficial way.”

Vasiksiri focuses on Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia as its core markets, while also looking for opportunities in the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand. Vasiksiri is not a believer in the industry, instead looking at the major contributors to GDP in each country. This includes agriculture and aquaculture in Indonesia, for example, so Vasiksiri invests in companies like Delos, a startup developing sensors and other technology to help shrimp farmers increase production. quantity.

Other areas of his interest include fintech, specifically payments and infrastructure, as well as gaming. “I think Southeast Asia has a unique position for a major game publisher or a game developer to emerge,” he said. “There are a lot of users here, especially with mobile games, and a lot of players in Thailand, the Philippines, as well as a lot of creative talent.” Climate technology is also another important area, as Southeast Asia is expected to become a net importer of natural gas by 2025and need to convert to green energy.

While there are only a handful of solo GPs in Southeast Asia, Vasiksiri expects more to emerge as the ecosystem matures, especially as founders of successful startups become investors. angel.

“I think a solo GP source could emerge, it will be more institutionalized, from writing personal checks to fundraising,” he said. “This is the first generation of solo GPs here and I believe that as the ecosystem matures we will see more.”

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