1982 Ventures, a Singapore-based early-stage VC company focused on Southeast Asia, has announced the initial closing of its first seed-stage fund, which has a commitment of US $12.5 million.
The fund aims to raise a total of $15 million in the capital.
The following investors took part in the first tranche:
US-based fintech unicorn Carta, Genting Group’s venture arm, US fund of funds First Close Partners, Rally Cap Ventures, Indonesian family office Trihill.
Fintech founders; top executives of digital and financial services organisations; Sheel Mohnot, founding general partner of 500 Fintech and Better Tomorrow Ventures; and anonymous GPs of Southeast Asian VC funds were among those who participated.
1982 Ventures intends to invest in roughly 30 seed-stage firms in Southeast Asia, mainly in fintech. Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, and the Philippines are the VC firm’s main markets, along with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
“We have seen the incredible rise of fintech in China, India, Latin America, Africa and the West, and now is the time for Southeast Asian fintech to lead the way,” said Scott Krivokopich, co-founder and managing partner of 1982 Ventures.
Scott and Herston Elton Powers, co-founders of fintech investor tryb Group, founded 1982 Ventures in early 2020.
As of November, it had 11 companies in its portfolio, including Indonesian open banking player Brick, Vietnamese retail investment platform Infina (YC S21), home financing proptech firm Homebase (YC W21), Singaporean automated financial data platform Bluesheets, and Wagely, an Indonesian earned wage access platform.
From its early investments, the company claims to have made a 3x profit.
With 350 million digital customers and a massive surge in merchant use of the digital payment, Southeast Asia, according to a 2021 SEA e-Conomy analysis by Google, Bain & Company, and Temasek, has a lot of space for fintech development. E-commerce and digital financial services initiatives have seen a lot of growth in the region. In just the first half of 2021, deal values for digital financial services topped those for the entire year of 2020.
The key reasons for this view in Southeast Asia include rapid urbanisation and some of the world’s highest mobile and internet adoption rates. Regional fintech businesses are worth more than $10 billion in unrealized value, according to Dealroom, with 100 fintech exits expected in the next several years.