The solo GP behind iSeed SEA launches his second fund for Southeast Asia

For those who observe Southeast Asia funding, you’re most likely accustomed to iSeed SEA. A few of the startups the fund has invested in because it launched in 2020 embody Dat Bike, Skuad and Upmesh. What you may not know, nonetheless, is that iSeed SEA is a solo GP fund. Now that solo GP, AngelList alum Wing Vasiksiri, is again with a brand new fund, known as WV Fund II.

The second fund brings Wing Vasiksiri’s complete belongings underneath administration to $14 million. The core thesis of iSeed SEA and WV Fund II is to shut the hole between Southeast Asia and Silicon Valley, since most of Vasiksiri’s community and plenty of of his LPs are within the U.S. This implies investing in seed-stage startups from a variety of sectors, and introducing them to LPs or operators within the U.S., or bringing them onboard as co-investors.

Vasiksiri sometimes writes checks between $100,000 to $500,000, relying on whether or not he’s the lead investor or not, and the valuation stage of an organization.

The 30 startups in Vasiksiri’s portfolio have raised a mixed complete of over $85 million in follow-on funding from a who’s who of traders, together with Sequoia Capital, Y Combinator, AlphaJWC, AC Ventures, East Ventures, Jungle Ventures, Openspace Ventures, Monks Hill Ventures, Golden Gate Ventures and MDI Ventures. Some examples of his investments embody Humble, HD, Digital Internships, Mio, Delos, Staffinc, Rukita and TCC.

Traders in Vasiksiri’s second fund embody institutional LPs comparable to Republic Capital, EGR Companions (Elisabeth de Rothschild’s household workplace), Kamco Make investments and Central Pattana. Particular person LPs embody Duo founder and CEO Dug Tune, Albert Wenger and USV managing companion Susan Danziger, Doordash and Sq. govt Gokul Rajaram, former Airbnb China COO Kum Hong Siew and operators from Dropbox, Discord and Github.

The solo GP mannequin is new to Southeast Asia, however has gained traction in Europe and the U.S., the place Elad Gill, Lachy Groom and Josh Buckley are examples of traders working funds on their very own.

Vasiksiri informed TechCrunch that solo GP funds first began within the U.S. with angel traders who had been getting allocations to good offers and proprietary networks, and had wished to institutionalize their investing. So that they raised capital from different sources to take a position at a bigger scale.

Earlier than launching his personal funds, Vasiksiri labored in operations at AngelList, the place he obtained near AngelList India founder Utsav Somani, who now serves as one among his advisors and is the founding father of micro-fund iSeed. The 2 thought of launching AngelList Southeast Asia, however then the pandemic obtained in the best way of their plans. They continued speaking to traders and founders, nonetheless, and obtained enthusiastic about developments they had been seeing within the area. These included a comparatively excessive GDP per capita, a rising center class and extra individuals coming on-line. The primary technology of startups had been going public, together with Seize and Bukalapak, and the issue of downstream capital was being solved by funds like Tiger.

Vasiksiri stated advantages of a solo GP fund embody velocity and transparency since he’s the one determination maker and might decide to a spherical inside days, and even hours.

“There are each professionals and cons to this mannequin, however I believe the most important professional is the form of your relationships with founders is drastically totally different when the connection is totally with you. There’s no sort of hierarchy to it,” he stated. “You consider a conventional fund, what a founder does is discuss to the analyst, the top-tier affiliate, possibly discuss to a companion after which they discuss to ICs or GPs. Oftentimes, the founder is telling the identical story.”

With a solo GP fund, nonetheless, the GP performs all these roles. “You’ll be able to dig deeper, you’ll be able to actually construct up extra of an genuine, real relationship with the founder by spending extra time with them. I believe it eliminates the principal/agent downside totally.”

One other profit is {that a} solo GP can relate to the experiences of founders. “I contemplate myself a founder, too, simply as an alternative of beginning an organization, I began a fund. I believe having that top empathy for the entrepreneur journey, considering via related issues and understanding how arduous it’s to be a brand new entrant competing with incumbents on this area.”

Being a solo GP can also be useful when working with different traders as a result of Vasiksiri isn’t combating to get excessive allocations and he doesn’t have possession necessities. This lets him collaborate as an alternative of compete with different funds. “As you scale up your fund, your collaborators and rivals change at each stage of them recreation,” he stated. “I believe remaining disciplined and small, this fund dimension permits me to do issues like overtly share offers, keep away from antagonistic choice from different funds, and construct off different relationships in a win-win method.”

Vasiksiri focuses on Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia as his core markets, and likewise seems for alternatives within the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand. Vasiksiri is sector agnostic, and as an alternative seems at huge contributors to GDP in every nation. For instance, this embody agriculture and aquaculture in Indonesia, so Vasiksiri invests in companies like Delos, a startup growing sensors and different tech to assist shrimp farmers enhance their yields.

Different areas he’s concerned with embody fintech, significantly funds and infrastructure, and gaming. “I believe Southeast Asia is uniquely positioned for both an enormous recreation writer or a recreation developer to emerge,” he stated. “There are a number of customers right here, particularly with cell video games, and a number of gamers are situated in Thailand, the Philippines, a number of artistic expertise as properly.” Local weather tech can also be one other essential sector, since Southeast Asia is predicted to change into a internet importer of pure gasoline by 2025, and must transition to inexperienced power.

Whereas there are solely a handful of solo GPs in Southeast Asia, Vasiksiri expects extra to emerge because the ecosystem matures, particularly as founders of profitable startups change into angel traders.

“I believe a supply of solo GPs may emerge it turns into extra institutionalized, from writing private checks to elevating funds,” he stated. “That is the primary technology of solo GPs right here and I imagine because the ecosystem matures, we’ll see much more.”