SG’s Quest Ventures ropes in Pavilion Capital, QazTech as anchor LPs

DealStreetAsia

Singapore-based venture capital firm Quest Ventures has secured two anchor limited partners (LPs) for its $50-million fund.

The two anchor LPs are Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund subsidiary, QazTech Ventures, and Temasek arm, Pavilion Capital, as first reported by Kazakh publication Strategy 2050.

According to the report, QazTech Ventures is investing $10 million in Quest Ventures, which will also back a startup acceleration programme – Kazakhstan Digital Accelerator – to nurture tech startups in Kazakhstan and Central Asia over the next three years.

This is understood to be QazTech Ventures’s first LP investment in Southeast Asia. The Kazakh sovereign wealth fund also recently invested in 500 Startups’s fifth global fund based in Silicon Valley, according to the report. DealStreetAsia has reached out to Quest Ventures for comment.

This report confirms an earlier DealStreetAsia story on Quest Ventures securing LP interest from two sovereign wealth funds last year, one of which was from Singapore. Quest Ventures had been reported to be aiming a $25-million first close in December for the same early-stage fund.

Although the vehicle is called Quest Ventures Asia Fund II, it is Quest’s first institutionally-backed fund. Its first fund was invested out of the personal capital of its managing partner, James Tan, who is also the co-founder of Nasdaq-listed Chinese e-commerce company, 55tuan.

Quest Ventures targets startups in Southeast Asia’s digital economy in areas such as agritech, food chain supply, and logistics. The firm has previously said it plans to invest in about 100 companies across the fund’s 10-year tenure, with ticket sizes between $500,000 and $1 million and scope for follow-on investments. Since 2010, Quest has added over 40 companies to its portfolio including names like Carro, Carousell, 99.co, ShopBack, and Glife.

The VC has been steadily expanding its team since last year. It appointed two partners in March – Goh Yiping and Jeffrey Seah – to manage the growth of its venture business. According to Quest Ventures’s website, the firm also runs innovation labs and corporate accelerators, serving a global list of clients such as Nissan, VMWare, Yahoo, HP, Tencent, and Coca Cola.

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