500 Startups Launches Thailand Fund, Solidifies SE Asia's VC Growth
February 18, 2015
500 Startups is raising a $10 million fund to invest in Thailand-based startups. The fund, 500 TukTuks, will reportedly look to place seed/initial investments of roughly $75,000 and follow-on investments of up to $150,000. The accelerator previously launched 500 Durians, a vehicle focused on companies throughout Southeast Asia.
Discussions about VC investment in Asian markets usually focuses on China and India, which in 2014 saw a combined $14 billion of capital invested, as well as multiple billion-dollar deals and several new unicorns. Southeast Asia, however, enjoyed its own solid year, surpassing $1 billion in VC invested and gaining two unicorns of its own: GrabTaxi and Lazada, both of which raised rounds of $250 million, tied for the largest VC investments in the region to date. Both companies are also headquartered in Singapore, which has seen 67% of Southeast Asia's deal flow and 82% of its total venture capital invested since the beginning of 2014. A big-name VC firm like 500 Startups focusing a fund specifically on Thailand may begin to spread the wealth a bit more throughout the region.