Lightspeed announces the launch of its Southeast Asia operations – ProWellTech
Lightspeed Venture Partners today announced the launch of its operations in Southeast Asia. Based at the company’s new regional headquarters in Singapore, the Lightspeed team will invest in startups across Southeast Asia from the three global funds it closed earlier this year, totaling approximately $ 4 billion. .
The Southeast Asian team is made up of partner Akshay Bhushan, who was a founding member of Flipkart’s business development team before joining Lightspeed five years ago; partner Bejul Somaia, who helped create Lightspeed India; vice president Pinn Lawjindakul, a veteran of Grab and Tiger Global Management; and senior investment associate Marsha Sugana, who previously worked at L Catterton and Goldman Sachs.
Bhushan told ProWellTech that Lightspeed opened its office in Singapore in January to serve as a base for his team while meeting entrepreneurs across the region. Obviously, the onset of COVID-19 cut travel, but they continued talking to startups via video calls and emails.
Lightspeed focuses on early stage investments and has already invested in some of the most prolific startups in Southeast Asia, including Grab. Its other portfolio companies in the region are Indonesian startups Chilibeli, a social commerce platform, B2B wholesale marketplace Ula and e-commerce logistics platform Shipper, as well as Singapore-based software developer NextBillion.AI.
Some of Lightspeed’s investments in other countries have also sparked keen interest in Southeast Asia as a key market for global expansion, including Indian startups OYO Rooms, Darwinbox and Yellow Messenger.
Having regional operations will allow Lightspeed to work more closely with its portfolio companies and establish deeper ties with entrepreneurs, Bhushan said.
He added that the pandemic has prompted the rapid adoption of technologies, including platforms that help small businesses digitize their operations or sell online, supply chain solutions and remote work or online training services.
In industries such as fintech or logistics, there are also plenty of opportunities in different Southeast Asian countries to build transformative platforms and services. For example, Bhushan said, Shipper focuses on solving some of the biggest supply chain and logistics challenges facing ecommerce sellers in Indonesia, while Grab has made it easier to access digital payments and to other financial services such as insurance.
“The big opportunity in most emerging markets, and this is true for most markets in Southeast Asia, is that we generally find that much of the fundamental infrastructure is broken, and founders can leverage technology to fill these gaps. “he said. “What excites us are the founders who are solving those infrastructure problems, and many of our investments are in that sense.”