Singapore’s 1982 Ventures Raises US$12.5M in the First Close of Seed Fund

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1982 Ventures, a leading early-stage venture capital firm in Southeast Asia, has announced the initial close of its first seed stage venture fund with US$12.5 million in committed capital.The fund is targeting to raise a total corpus of US$15 million.

Established in early 2020, 1982 Ventures is a Southeast Asia focused venture capital fund that invests in seed stage fintech startups in Southeast Asia. The fund was recently identified as the most active Southeast Asia based fintech investor of 2021 (UOB).

The firm’s portfolio has made a return of over 3x, with early and first round investments in Indonesian open banking player Brick, Vietnamese retail investment platform Infina (YC S21), home financing proptech Homebase (YC W21), Singaporean automated financial data platform Bluesheets and Southeast Asia’s first earned wage access platform Wagely.

Their first fund has been backed by US fintech unicorn Carta, Asia’s leading multinational Genting Group’s Venture arm, US fund of funds First Close Partners and Rally Cap and major Indonesian family office Trihill. The backers of 1982 Ventures include Southeast Asian, European and American family offices, fintech founders, senior executives of tech and financial services companies and GPs of other VC funds including Sheel Mohnot (founding GP of 500 Fintech and Better Tomorrow Ventures) and unnamed GPs at major Southeast Asian VC funds.

Herston Elton Powers, Co-founder and Managing Partner of 1982 Ventures stated, “Seed stage fintech in Southeast Asia is a clear once in a generation opportunity. Our focus and credibility with founders make us first money invested and the partner of choice for fintech entrepreneurs in the region.” He continued, “Our investors have access to the highest quality deal flow and as a result of their commitment to 1982 Ventures, have directly participated in the region’s most competitive fintech rounds.”

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JunYuan Tan, Co-Founder and CEO, of Homebase (a 1982 Ventures portfolio company) stated “1982 Ventures was one of our earliest institutional investors. They have been super helpful even up till today. In fact, 1982 Ventures has by far made the most number of quality introductions to us, especially for lenders, and it’s not even close. 1982 Ventures’ investment is one of the best money we’ve ever taken.”

Southeast Asia represents a once in a generation opportunity with half a billion consumers waiting for financial services. The region is experiencing rapid urbanization and has some of the world’s highest technology adoption and mobile and internet penetration rates. Southeast Asian fintech startups represent more than US$10 billion in unrealized value, with 100 projected fintech exits in the coming years (Dealroom).

Ian Sulaiman, Vice President, of Trihill, stated “1982 Ventures is filling a critical gap in the VC market with their focus on seed stage fintech companies. The GPs understand how to invest in Indonesia and across the region. Scott and Herston have impressed us with their company selection and we have confidence in the judgement.”

Going forward, the firm is looking to invest in a total of 30 start-ups primarily in the fintech sector across Southeast Asia. The firm has a core focus on Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore and Philippines with the ability invest across the region and opportunistically in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Scott Krivokopich, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of 1982 Ventures stated, “We are on track to realize our goal of becoming the best performing fund in the region and we are encouraged by the support from the global investment community in backing 1982 Ventures.” He continued, “We have seen the incredible rise of fintech in China, India, Latin America, Africa and the West — now is the time for Southeast Asian fintech to lead the way.”

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Both Herston and Scott are former executives of tryb Group, a Southeast Asian fintech investor, and have each been in Asia for well over a decade. Scott Krivokopich was previously the Head of Investments at tryb Group and prior to that established Moore Stephens Corporate Finance business in China, advised on M&A for Southeast Asian fintech transactions, worked with Micro-Finance pioneer Grameen Bank. Scott started his career in New York working for PwC Structured Credit and Derivatives Advisory.

Herston Elton Powers, an INSEAD graduate in Singapore, previously led investments, operations and investor relations at tryb Group. He is credited as the first institutional investor in Indonesia’s leading fintech and Neo bank Alami. Prior to becoming a VC investor, Herston was a banker at the Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) in New York, Hong Kong and Singapore where he was Head of Southeast Asia and worked on numerous Chinese, Indian and Southeast Asian listings on NYSE and Nasdaq. He also supported the founding of a global fintech company based in Europe.

“1982 Ventures has proven its ability to source and invest in the best fintech start-ups in the region.” stated Scott Krivokopich. He continued, “Our mission is clear to back the next generation of unicorns which will come from the fintech sector in Southeast Asia.”

1982 Ventures expects to announce the final close of its first seed fund soon and is only open for investment from strategic investors to participate in a “greenshoe option” as the fund is already oversubscribed ahead of its final close.