New Korean VC Firm KIPSEA Launches $60 Million Southeast Asia Fund


A new player has entered the Southeast Asia startup ecosystem as Korean Investment Partners Southeast Asia (KIPSEA) announces the first close of its inaugural fund, raising $60 million. KIPSEA, a subsidiary of Korean Investment Holdings, aims to capitalize on the rapid growth of the Southeast Asian market and bridge the investment gap between South Korea and the region. With a focus on seed to Series B startups, KIPSEA aims to support startups that have plans for expansion into South Korea.

Key Takeaway

Korean Investment Partners Southeast Asia (KIPSEA) has launched a $60 million fund to bridge the investment gap between South Korea and Southeast Asia. With a focus on supporting startups planning to expand into South Korea, KIPSEA aims to leverage its extensive investment network and expertise to create value for its portfolio companies. The growing interest from Korean investors in the Southeast Asian market highlights the region’s potential for growth and collaboration opportunities.

Betting on Southeast Asia’s Growing Market

KIPSEA’s Head, Synclare Kim, expresses confidence in the Southeast Asian market, citing the region’s rapidly expanding market as a key driver for investment. The sector-agnostic fund will provide consultancy, ongoing follow-up investments, and connections to its extensive investment network in Asia, leveraging its experience from over 900 investments made by Korean Investment Partners since its establishment in 1986.

KIPSEA is optimistic about the potential for growth in Southeast Asia, driven by its large population and the region’s thriving venture ecosystem. Kim believes that the increasing interest from global investors in Southeast Asia will contribute to the liquidity and potential exit opportunities for investments made by KIPSEA in the future.

Supporting Portfolio Companies for Value Creation

Kim emphasizes KIPSEA’s commitment to providing strategic direction and fostering collaboration for its portfolio companies. The fund aims to add value beyond capital by closely monitoring management situations, offering resources, and connecting startups with relevant stakeholders. These activities are critical to creating value and ensuring the success of portfolio companies.

Expanding Opportunities for Korean Companies and Investors

Korea’s interest in the Southeast Asian market continues to grow, with Korean investors actively seeking opportunities in the region. This trend is exemplified by the recently announced $100 million fund by East Ventures and Seoul-based SV Investment dedicated to Southeast Asian startups. Woori Venture Partners has also opened an office in Singapore and made multiple investments, while Shinhan Venture Investment has allocated 50% of its flagship fund for Southeast Asia.

Kim points out the cultural similarities between Korea and Southeast Asia, making it easier for Southeast Asian companies to expand into Korea. Additionally, Korean venture capital firms possess extensive knowledge and resources in the region, creating ample opportunities for collaboration and investment.

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