Vynn Capital plans $40M startup fund for Southeast Asia

Kuala Lumpur-headquartered venture capital Vynn has announced a $40 million fund targeting south East Asia startups.

The venture firm is founded by Chua and Singaporean Darren Chua, previously with IE Singapore, and it is targeting a $40 million total close. Chua declined to say how far advanced the project is, but we did a little digging and industry sources suggest it has closed around $10 million thus far.

The fund is focused on startups in a range of industry verticals including travel, property, FMCG, logistics, property and “female-focused economics,” Chua told TechCrunch in an interview. On that last vertical, Chua cites Gobi’s successful exit from Malaysia-based skincare and cosmetics startup Hermo — the firm received $13 million for its 60 percent stake courtesy of a deal with public Japanese firm Istyle.

Chua said the deal represented a massive return on investment despite the fact that Hermo had never expanded beyond Malaysia. He believes that the opportunity for female-focused business will only increase in the region.

Geographically, the fund’s focus is on Southeast Asia, and in particular Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore. Myanmar and the Philippines are on the radar.

In particular, Chua said he will tap his network in Thailand and Vietnam — developed from his time at Gobi — while Chua has extensive experience working in Myanmar among other markets. Two other partners are in the process of joining the firm but cannot be named at this point, he added.

Vynn Capital plans to begin investments by the end of February with a primary target of seed and pre-Series A deals. Chua said it would reserve significant funds for follow-on deals that would take it into Series A investments and potentially belong. All told, the firm is looking at making around 15-20 deals with its inaugural fund.

Chua declined to give specific LP information, but he said the firm is backed by “traditional families keen get into the new era of business where technology plays a huge role.”

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