Quest Ventures, a Singapore venture capital firm, said it completed the first close of a planned $50 million fund.
Quest, founded by James Tan, raised the money from investors including Pavilion Capital of Singapore and QazTech Ventures of Kazakhstan. It’s the firm’s second venture fund and its first time tapping institutional investors, after Tan financed the first fund with his own money.
Quest plans to use the new financing to make early-stage investments in startups in Southeast Asia, a sprawling region with more than 620 million people and a fast-growing internet economy. The firm sees opportunity in financing businesses that are helping consumers and companies go digital, although the coronavirus outbreak is creating substantial challenges.
“The Covid-19 virus is testing the foundations of many startups,” said Jeffrey Seah, a partner at Quest. “Those with senior leadership that is dexterous, who can adjust to market changes fast, will survive.”
The firm’s previous investments include e-commerce startups ShopBack, Style Theory and Carousell, and online marketplace for second-hand goods valued at $850 million. Its first fund has returned more than 40% (in IRR) so far, Seah said.