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THE INVESTOR

Start-ups

Korean VCs tap emerging SE Asian countries

  • PUBLISHED :November 16, 2017 - 16:43
  • UPDATED :November 16, 2017 - 16:49
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[THE INVESTOR] Korean venture capital companies are heading to promising Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia and Vietnam in an attempt to diversify their portfolios amid intensifying competition.

Korea Investment Partners is planning to invest in Indonesia, Vietnam and Singapore in the near future, according to a source familiar with the matter. This plan follows the VC’s investments in Indonesian mobile dining information provider Qraved and Vietnam-based game publishing company Appota earlier this year.

Another leading VC Smilegate Investment has established a partnership with Thailand’s conglomerate C.P. Group in March. The two have announced that they plan to set up a fund focusing on cultural businesses such as game, movie and soap operas.

Many VCs consider that the Southeast Asian region has great potential as the mobile environment is growing fast.

“Unlike Korea, Google and Facebook have a big presence in Southeast Asia and this has encouraged many startups in e-commerce and transportation,” Yoo Jung-ho, investment manager at Korea Investment Partners, said during a conference last month.

“Less than half the population in Southeast Asian countries have access to financial services, so startups with technologies in this sector see many opportunities,” Yoo added.

Another leading venture firm Bon Angels is also expanding its investments in the region.

In a recent interview, Kang Seokheun, founding partner at Bon Angels Investment, said he will significantly increase the size of investments in Southeast Asia next year.

By Park Ga-young (gypark@heraldcorp.com)
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