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Lightspeed Venture enters Singapore to step up tech investment

·2-min read
This picture taken on January 2, 2019 shows the skyline of the financial business district in Singapore. (Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Skyline of the financial business district in Singapore, 2 January 2019. (PHOTO: ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

By Yoolim Lee

(Bloomberg) -- Lightspeed Venture Partners, a backer of Oyo Rooms and Grab Holdings Inc., is poised to step up investments in Southeast Asian startups, using part of the US$4 billion the global venture capital firm raised earlier this year.

The Menlo Park, California-based firm has recently established a new regional office in Singapore with a local team, according to Akshay Bhushan, a partner at Lightspeed who was previously a founding member of Flipkart’s corporate development team. It plans to focus on Singapore and Indonesia, he said.

Lightspeed is joining other U.S. investors including Vulcan Capital in boosting their investments in Southeast Asia. With deepening mobile penetration and an emergent middle class, the region has given birth to tech giants such as Grab, Gojek and Tokopedia in the past decade.

“We are excited to see the first generation of high value companies that have come out of Singapore and Indonesia,” Bhushan said in an interview. “Coupled with a strong digital adoption, the region is the fourth-largest internet market, so we wanted to work closely with our entrepreneurs as we make more investments.”

Read more: Southeast Asian Tech Startup Investments Fall 13% in First Half

Lightspeed will focus on seed, Series A and Series B investments -- ranging between US$500,000 and US$20 million -- on areas including enterprise software, consumer internet and financial technology, he added.

The firm’s four-member Southeast Asia team includes Bejul Somaia, a 12-year company veteran who played a key role in setting up the firm’s operations in India and its investments in Oyo Rooms and Udaan. The other two executives are Pinn Lawjindakul, who formerly worked at Grab and Tiger Global Management in Singapore, and Marsha Sugana, who previously served at L Catterton and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.