With ecommerce in Asia pretty much dominated by Jack and Jeff, the region’s startup scene has begun looking for the next big thing.
Venture capital firm Fenox wants to be in the thick of it. The US-Japan-Southeast Asia firm recently launched a US$20 million fund to invest in what it calls “core tech” startups.
It’s an alphabet soup of catchphrases: robotics, artificial intelligence, big data, internet of things, healthtech, fintech, and more. That said, it’ll still looking out for B2B and B2C platforms.
A notable limited partner (LP) in this fund is Wistron. It’s essentially a lesser-known Foxconn, a Taiwanese contract manufacturer that’s still pretty massive, employing 60,000 people and making US$18.8 billion in annual revenue. It has assembled some of Apple’s iPhones.
“With the Wistron partnership, Fenox will be able to help its portfolio startups connect to a reliable manufacturing and technology partner who can help them not only with manufacturing but also with technology and business expansion.”
Fenox focuses on assisting corporates with sourcing for startups to invest in, work with, and even acquire. Fenox has partnered 20 corporates to date, including Sega and Bandai.
The firm, which has been in business for five years, did not share specific details on how its funds are doing, but did say its portfolio saw six acquisitions and three IPOs:
2014: Dream Link Entertainment
2016: Evolable Asia
- Sidecar acquired by General Motors
- Roximity acquired by Verve
- Bop.fm acquired by LifeLock
- Circa acquired by Sinclair Group
- Socialize acquired by ShareThis
- Schematic Labs acquired by Rhapsody
Fenox did not give exact figures on much it made out of these deals. Its most prominent win is probably Metaps, billed as one of Japan’s hottest startups. Anis says it invested US$5 million into Metaps and US$6 million into Evolable Asia, and made “significant returns per share” on both.
Some of these acquisitions aren’t made under the best circumstances though: Sidecar was sold after it failed to compete with Uber and Lyft. Circa and Bop.fm, meanwhile, looked like fire sales.
It has only deployed under 10 percent of its overall fund so far, but Anis claims that’s because it’s raising more funds from LPs than it can invest.
The new fund will target both Asian and US companies.
This post 3 IPOs and 6 exits later, this VC reloads with $20m to fund US and Asian startups appeared first on Tech in Asia.