Venture capital firm 500 Global announced on Tuesday the successful close of $143 million across its largest Southeast Asian early-stage fund to date, 500 Southeast Asia III, L.P. (500 SEA III), and its growth investment vehicle for Southeast Asia. The new early-stage and growth vehicles demonstrate the team’s commitment to supporting founders in Southeast Asia from pre-seed to pre-IPO.

Limited partners (LPs) across its early-stage and growth investment vehicles include Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, public and private pension funds like Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan) [KWAP], and Employees Provident Fund (EPF), 500 Global said in a statement. A university endowment, family offices of prominent global investors, and portfolio companies valued at over $1 billion from 500 Global’s first Southeast Asia early-stage fund have invested as LPs as well.

500 SEA III is 500 Global’s third Southeast Asia-focused early-stage fund, with each successive fund having nearly doubled in size since 2014. Originally targeted for $75 million, 500 SEA III closed at $100 million with over half of the fund coming from returning LPs.

The early-stage fund will focus on investing in businesses and AI-enabled technologies that advance rural digitalization, sustainable cities, human and machine productivity, healthcare, food security and financial inclusivity. 500 SEA III aims to invest in 100 pre-seed to Series A startups, providing first checks between $250,000 – $500,000 across Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia.

“KWAP’s investment in 500 Global began in the latter’s early days through its second Southeast Asia early-stage fund. 500 Global has since grown considerably in strength to a multi-stage investment platform, and remains instrumental in securing co-investment opportunities for KWAP.” – Hazman Hilmi Sallahuddin, Chief Investment Officer, KWAP.

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with 500 Global, a VC manager with an extensive investment track record globally. In line with Khazanah’s Future Malaysia Program, an initiative under our Dana Impak (Impact Fund) mandate, we are excited about their potential to facilitate the market expansion of start-ups via their Southeast Asia platform, with the anticipation of creating new global champions.” – Amirul Feisal Wan Zahir, Managing Director, Khazanah Nasional.

500 Global’s past Southeast Asia investments have included $5 million – $20 million checks in Series C to D rounds of portfolio companies such as Carousell (2018), Carsome (2021), and most recently eFishery (2023), and has in the past invited their LPs to co-invest alongside them in select opportunities.

“While we developed our growth stage capability investing over the years, we have also added resources and new partners in line with our aim to support founders from pre-seed to pre-IPO.” – Vishal Harnal, Managing Partner, 500 Global.

“History shows us that cyclical downturns are typically succeeded by periods of high growth surpassing the preceding cycles. Having been investing in Southeast Asia now for over a decade, we learned a thing or two about supporting outstanding founders and companies to ride the next 10 years, to generate highly competitive returns for our institutional investors and portfolio companies.” – Khailee Ng, Managing Partner, 500 Global.

“We continue to believe in the strong potential and opportunities in Southeast Asia. With a global portfolio of over 2,800 companies across more than 80 countries, we believe that the founders in Southeast Asia will benefit from one of the few truly global venture platforms with deep local roots and in-market expertise.” – Christine Tsai, CEO & Founding Partner, 500 Global.

Over the past decade, 500 Global has backed over 340 companies across Southeast Asia. The firm has invested in companies valued at over $1 billion such as Grab, Bukalapak, Carsome, Carousell, FinAccel, and eFishery.

500 Global is a multi-stage VC firm with $2.4 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2023 that invests in founders building fast-growing technology companies. Its 190+ team members are located in over 25 countries.

Ten Filipino startups complete the 917Ventures Accelerator Program by 500 Global