Golden Gate Ventures Raises Bet on Southeast Asia With New Fund

Golden Gate Ventures has raised a $60 million fund from investors including Temasek Holdings Pte and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin as it seeks to sustain its pace of investment in Southeast Asian startups.

The firm run by Vinnie Lauria closed its second fund with the help of other new investors Hanwha Life Insurance Co., Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank Pcl and Germany’s Hubert Burda Media Holding.

Golden Gate Ventures, which Lauria founded in 2011 with two partners after backpacking across Asia and witnessing the rise of China’s web giants, is one of the earliest VC firms to target the region. Its $10 million debut fund fueled investments in 30 startups across seven countries, including flea market app Carousell and online grocer Redmart.

“We were one of the earliest funds and we rode the wave that took over the region,” said Lauria, Golden Gate’s managing partner. The second fund was oversubscribed by $10 million, according to the company. “The ecosystem is now significantly bigger and there are a lot more deals. We want to double down on the opportunity.”

Southeast Asia, home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies, is approaching a tipping point, according to a recent report by Google Inc. and Temasek. The region has 260 million internet users, with an additional 3.8 million people coming online every month. And its internet economy, spanning online shopping to games and advertising, will surge sixfold to about $200 billion in the next decade, it said.

Lauria started Golden Gate in 2011 after selling his forum-hosting site Lefora to California-based CrowdGather Inc. He relocated to Singapore from Silicon Valley after spotting an opportunity in the lack of professional venture capital investment in the region at the time.