Lightspeed Venture Partners introduced the launch of its Southeast Asia operations immediately. Based out of the agency’s new regional headquarters in Singapore, Lightspeed’s staff there’ll spend money on startups all through Southeast Asia from the three world funds it closed earlier this yr, which complete about $four billion.
The Southeast Asia staff consists of associate Akshay Bhushan, who was a founding member of Flipkart’s company growth staff earlier than becoming a member of Lightspeed 5 years in the past; associate Bejul Somaia, who helped arrange Lightspeed India; vice chairman Pinn Lawjindakul, a veteran of Grab and Tiger Global Management; and senior funding affiliate Marsha Sugana, who beforehand labored at L Catterton and Goldman Sachs.
Bhushan advised TechCrunch that Lightspeed opened its Singapore workplace in January to function a base for its staff as they met with entrepreneurs all through the area. Obviously, the onset of COVID-19 curtailed journey, however they continued speaking to startups via video calls and emails.
Lightspeed focuses on early-stage investments and has already invested in a few of the most prolific startups in Southeast Asia, together with Grab. Its different portfolio corporations within the area are Indonesian startups Chilibeli, a social commerce platform, B2B wholesale market Ula, and e-commerce logistics platform Shipper, in addition to Singaporean software program developer NextBillion.AI.
Some of Lightspeed’s investments in different nations have additionally taken a eager curiosity in Southeast Asia as a key marketplace for world growth, together with Indian startups OYO Rooms, Darwinbox and Yellow Messenger.
Having regional operations will permit Lightspeed to work extra intently with its portfolio corporations and make deeper connections with entrepreneurs, Bhushan mentioned.
He added that the pandemic has prompted the fast adoption of applied sciences, together with platforms that assist small companies digitize their operations or promote on-line, provide chain options and distant working or on-line education-related providers.
In sectors like fintech or logistics, there’s additionally a variety of alternative in a number of Southeast Asian nations to construct transformative platforms and providers. For instance, Bhushan mentioned, Shipper is targeted on fixing a few of the largest provide chain and logistics challenges going through e-commerce sellers in Indonesia, whereas Grab has made digital funds and different monetary providers like insurance coverage simpler to entry.
“The large alternative in most rising markets, and this is applicable to a lot of the markets in Southeast Asia, is that we typically discover that a variety of the basic infrastructure is damaged, and founders can leverage expertise to fill these gaps,” he mentioned. “What excites us are founders who’re fixing these infrastructural issues, and a variety of our investments are to that impact.”