Indonesian VC fund, backed by co-founders of Alibaba, Facebook, raises $75 million

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Jakarta-based venture capital firm East Ventures said on Wednesday it raised $75 million for its sixth fund, backed by prominent Asian businessmen, to invest in early-stage startups in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

The list of investors included Facebook FB.O co-founder Eduardo Saverin, family offices of Alibaba Group's BABA.N co-founder Eddie Wu, Chief Executive Officer of Meituan-Dianping 3690.HK Wang Xing as well as Dianping founder Zhang Tao, according to the venture capital fund.

East Ventures also received financial backing from Singaporean sovereign fund Temasek Holdings and Indonesian conglomerates Sinarmas and Emtek EMTK.JK.

“The way we picked our LPs (limited partners) is strategic and based on geopolitcal arbitrage,” East Ventures co-founder Willson Cuaca told Reuters, noting that investors would take an involved role in advising the fund.

The decade-old firm was an early backer of several Indonesian “unicorns”, or tech startups valued at more than $1 billion, including online retailer Tokopedia and travel booking site Traveloka.

Funding by venture capital firms in Southeast Asia touched a record high last year, with Indonesia’s booming digital economy being a prime destination.

Reporting by Fanny Potkin, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips