(Bloomberg) -- South Korean venture capital firm InterVest Co. and Indonesian partner Kejora Ventures have closed the first round of funding for their new Southeast Asian fund, securing more than half of the fund’s targeted $100 million.
Korea Venture Investment Corp., a trust backed by Korea Development Bank and other investors put $60 million into the InterVest Star Southeast Asia Growth Fund I, according to InterVest.
Seoul-based InterVest was one of the first South Korean venture firms to turn its attention to Southeast Asia, home to 620 million people, where growth is accelerating. The region’s internet economy is poised to reach $200 billion by 2025 amid surging adoption of smartphones, according to to a report by Google and Temasek Holdings Pte.
“Southeast Asia is a promising market for Korean ventures,” said Kim Sang-Soo, head of Southeast Asia at Korea Venture Investment. “The fund will seek to bridge them with local partners so they can grow and expand in the region.”
The fund will also seek to provide growth-stage startups with capital, which is lacking in Southeast Asia, according to Andy Zain, founding partner of Kejora Ventures. “Part of our strategy is to bring experienced founders and technology here and help them with our capital and network so they can quickly become No. 1 in that sector,” he said.
Founded in 2014, Kejora is an early-stage investor that has invested in about 30 startups including financial technology firms C88 Fintech Group and Investree. Its backers include Indonesia’s Barito Pacific, the family that owns Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group and Germany’s Hubert Burda Media. Separately, Kejora is planning to close its own second Southeast Asian fund early next year, targeting $80 million.
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