Category: benchmark capital

May 30, 2019 Off

EV Growth closes $200M fund to cover Southeast Asia’s Series B funding gap

By Jill T Frey

East Ventures has long been known as one of Indonesia’s longest-serving and most active seed-stage investors, but now it has officially moved up the food chain after it announced a final close of its growth fund at $200 million.

Called EV Growth, the fund is a joint venture between East Ventures, SMDV — the VC arm of Indonesian conglomerate Sinar Mas — and YJ Capital, which is associated with Yahoo Japan. The fund was first announced last year with a target of $150 million, but this final close has already surpassed that thanks to contributions from LPs that include SoftBank Group, Pavilion CapitaI and Indies Capital.

EV Growth is already active, with 40% of the fund deployed to date, according to East Ventures’ founding partner Willson Cuaca, who serves as partner for the new fund alongside Roderick Purwana from SMDV and  YJ Capital’s Shinichiro Hori.

“We thought ‘There’s a gap … Read the rest

May 29, 2019 Off

Fundraising 101: How to trigger FOMO among VCs

By Jill T Frey

Let’s go beyond the high-level fundraising advice that fills VC blogs. If you have a compelling business and have educated yourself on crafting a pitch deck and getting warm intros to VCs, there are still specific questions about the strategy to follow for your fundraise.

How can you make your round “hot” and trigger a fear of missing out (FOMO) among investors? How can you fundraise faster to reduce the distraction it has on running your business?

“You’re trying to make a market for your equity. In order to make a market you need multiple people lining up at the same time.”

Unsurprisingly, I’ve noticed that experienced founders tend to be more systematic in the tactics they employ to raise capital. So I asked several who have raised tens (or hundreds) of millions in VC funding to share specific strategies for raising money on their terms. Here’s their advice.

(The … Read the rest

April 29, 2019 Off

Getting a piece of Uber

By Jill T Frey

Menlo Ventures was founded in 1976 but it took 35 years for the venture capital firm to hit the jackpot.

Since the dot-com boom, Menlo Ventures has teetered between good and great. A prolific Silicon Valley investor, it’s never quite reached the heights of Accel or Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), or established the level of name recognition as Benchmark or Sequoia, firms that struck gold with bets on Facebook, Instagram and Snap.

But where others missed the boat entirely on one of the most valuable tech startups of all time, Menlo Ventures gnawed its way into an early deal at the last possible moment.

In 2011, the firm led a $32 million Series B funding in a fledgling on-demand car service called Uber, agreeing to value the startup at a colossal $322 million after the company’s first-choice investor, a16z, failed to accept Uber’s sky-high terms. Menlo would go on to invest … Read the rest