Forge Ventures, a new Singapore-headquartered venture capital firm, announced that it made a first close of its debut fund at $21.88 million.
The fund aims to invest in 15 startups in three years with a focus on Singapore and Indonesia, as per the announcement.
To date, the fund has already led three investments: Vouch, a Singapore-headquartered digital concierge Software as a Service (SaaS) platform for the hospitality industry; Dropezy, an ultrafast grocery delivery service in Indonesia; and Marathon, a Vietnam-based K-12 tutoring business that democratizes access to star tutors.
Forge Ventures was founded by startup ecosystem veterans, Tiang Lim Foo and Kaspar Hidayat, in partnership with Alto Partners, one of the region’s first Multi-Family Offices founded by and for Asia’s leading entrepreneurs and next-generation investors.
The firm aims to back visionary founders building the next generation of category-defining businesses in Southeast Asia at the seed stage.
“Southeast Asia’s startup ecosystem is at an inflection point and with the current abundance of capital, founders demand more from their seed investors. We are operators so we know what it takes to go from zero to one,” said Tiang Lim Foo, co-founder and partner at Forge Ventures.
In a first for Southeast Asia, Forge Ventures assembled a limited partner base designed to help the founders it partners with. The majority of Limited Partners (LPs) in the fund are founders and operators at leading technology companies and startups including Airbnb, Carousell, Fabelio, Facebook, Funding Societies, GajiGesa, Grab, Kopi Kenangan, Qoala, Stripe, and others.
“While we do provide capital to startups, we see ourselves first and foremost as partners and advisers to the founders we work with. Unlike other investors, we allocate the majority of our time to working with founders so that we can make a difference,” said Kaspar Hidayat, co-founder and partner at Forge Ventures.