Gentree Fund, a Philippines-based sector-agnostic fund that focuses on investments into early-stage B2C and B2B companies, has just announced that it has earmarked an initial $40 million to invest in early and growth-stage Southeast Asian startups with plans of expanding into the Filipino market.

The venture capital firm was launched in July 2020. Gentree Fund is a private investment vehicle launched by the Sy family, who runs the SM Group, one of the Philippines’ largest conglomerates, which operates in retail, banking, logistics, and property development.

According to DealStreetAsia, Mark Sng, Gentree Fund vice president, mentioned that the company’s maiden vehicle is an evergreen fund and its initial commitment of $40 million may change later on.

“With over 70 million internet users in the Philippines, communication, entertainment, and skills-transformation have moved online and become key to daily routines. We hope to support their continued growth and drive greater choice for consumers and businesses in the Philippines and Southeast Asia,” Sng said.

Since launching, the company has already invested roughly $12 million of its initial fund. On November 26, 2020, the firm participated in the Series A round of funding of Aqwire, a platform that utilizes Smart Contract technology to process cross-border real estate transactions. On February 9, 2021, it was announced that the firm acted as lead investor in the second seed round of funding of Mosaic Solutions, a leading provider of profit optimization solutions. Just this July 14, 2021, the company was also announced as lead investor for the seed round of edamama, a mom-focused e-commerce platform. Gentree also invested in live-stream social media platform Kumu, and the digital banking platform NextPay.

Sng mentioned that the firm plans to invest in around 12 to 14 startups with check sizes between $1 million and $3 million. Gentree also plans to entertain investments in late-stage regional growth companies with an interest in the Philippine market. Aside from financial backing, startups in its portfolio will also be able to benefit from the SM Groups knowledge and potential commercial collaborations.

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