- Lightspeed has been investing in Southeast Asia, with investments such as Grab, Chilibeli, Ula, Shipper and NextBillion, and is looking to accelerate further
- Lightspeed will deploy capital across the region from the US$4 billion raised recently across global funds; Singapore and Indonesia are key focus countries
- Lightspeed has established its regional office in Singapore; steered by a dedicated Southeast Asian team with strong regional investing and operating experience
SINGAPORE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sep. 17, 2020
Lightspeed Venture Partners (“Lightspeed”) today announced the launch of its Southeast Asia operations. Headquartered in Singapore, Lightspeed will partner and support the region’s bold entrepreneurs building disruptive companies. Lightspeed will deploy capital for its Southeast Asian investments from its global funds, where it has previously announced having raised US$4 billion in 2020.
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Lightspeed Southeast Asia Team (pictured left to right): Akshay Bhushan, Marsha Sugana, Pinn Lawjindakul, and Bejul Somaia.(Graphic: Business Wire)
As the world copes with the humanitarian and economic crisis driven by COVID-19, it is also seeing rapid digitization across industries and categories. These tailwinds are enabling strong founders to create new categories and business models. Lightspeed is committed to backing founders across the region, who are building a new future on the back of technology-led disruption.
Since 2000, Lightspeed has supported game-changing founders from inception through to growth stages. More than 70% of its investments have been in firms at early stages, often being the first institutional capital partner. In Southeast Asia as well, Lightspeed is actively engaging with ventures right from their early stages, solving uniquely Asian problems in sectors like commerce, fintech, edtech and SaaS among many others.
“Southeast Asia is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and startup ecosystems, and this is due in no small part to the region’s extraordinary entrepreneurial talent. We believe the startup ecosystem will continue its significant expansion and are excited to partner with entrepreneurs as they build and scale disruptive companies,” said Akshay Bhushan, Partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Lightspeed has already invested in the region across regional super-app Grab, social commerce platform Chilibeli, B2B marketplace app Ula, enterprise artificial intelligence software provider NextBillion.ai as well as fulfilment and shipping gateway company Shipper. Additionally, many of Lightspeed portfolio companies are scaling up business in Southeast Asia and have regional headquarters in Singapore – including Snap, OYO Rooms, Yellow Messenger and Darwinbox among others. Many ventures are also building multi-location businesses with engineering talent from India and other areas.
“Our mission at Lightspeed has stayed the same, even as our global presence has expanded from Silicon Valley, Israel and China to India, Europe and now Southeast Asia: to support bold entrepreneurs who are building tomorrow’s companies today,” said Ravi Mhatre, Founder and Managing Director, Lightspeed Venture Partners. “Southeast Asia is undoubtedly one of the fastest-growing innovation ecosystems and we look forward to building deep, long-lasting relationships with founders and the broader tech community.”
Over the last 20 years, Lightspeed has helped entrepreneurs in diverse industries scale into multi-billion-dollar companies, some of which are Snap (US), Nutanix (US), Pinduoduo (China), Man Bang group (China), Grab (Asia), OYO Rooms (India), Udaan (India) and Byju’s (India). Lightspeed has deeply engaged with each of its investments to enable its founders to succeed – leveraging its global portfolio network, customer introductions, talent and marketing support and growth capital.
“With a large, tech-savvy and young population, Southeast Asia is leading the charge in technology-driven innovation. We have a strong belief in the opportunities here and the capabilities that founders of this region have demonstrated,” said Bejul Somaia, Partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners. “Our global footprint, combined with the local team’s expertise, will enable the region’s founders to better leverage global opportunities and we are thrilled to partner with them.”
Lightspeed will steer its Southeast Asian activities from its regional office in Singapore. Its Southeast Asia team includes talent from around the region with a robust mix of operating and investing experience in regional unicorns and multinational firms. The Southeast Asia team comprises:
- Akshay Bhushan, Partner. Over the last five years, Akshay has led venture investments with Lightspeed. He was previously a founding member of Flipkart’s corporate development team, leading the startup's strategic investments and acquisitions. Prior to Flipkart, Akshay was a consultant at Bain & Company, where he founded the company’s Atlanta Private Equity Practice, an early-stage investor in India, and co-founded shopper engagement platform Whalelogix.
- Bejul Somaia, Partner. A venture capital veteran who has been in the industry since 1999, Bejul joined Lightspeed in 2008 and has played a key role in setting up Lightspeed India. He has been instrumental in helping build market-defining companies such as OYO Rooms and Udaan in India.
- Pinn Lawjindakul, Vice President. Pinn has worked alongside founders across life stages in China and India. In addition to working with Grab during the super-app’s early days, she was previously with Tiger Global Management in Singapore, working on portfolio companies in areas such as fintech, ridesharing, communications and e-commerce. She also spent time with Bain & Company, where she advised private equity clients during the first wave of startups in Southeast Asia.
- Marsha Sugana, Senior Investment Associate. Marsha has served in private equity roles with L Catterton and Goldman Sachs in the past, and has experience covering Southeast Asia’s largest publicly traded consumer and retail companies. She has also worked with BlackRock’s Financial Markets Advisory division in New York City as an Analyst.
With this expansion to Southeast Asia, Lightspeed remains committed more than ever to its mission: to partner with bold entrepreneurs building exceptional companies of tomorrow.
About Lightspeed Venture Partners
Lightspeed Venture Partners is a multi-stage venture capital firm focused on accelerating disruptive innovations and trends in the Enterprise and Consumer sectors. Over the past two decades, the Lightspeed team has backed hundreds of entrepreneurs and helped build more than 400+ companies globally, including Snap, Nest, Nutanix, AppDynamics, MuleSoft, OYO, Guardant, StitchFix, and GrubHub. Lightspeed and its affiliates currently manage $10.5B across the global Lightspeed platform, with investment professionals and advisors in Silicon Valley, Israel, India, China, Southeast Asia, and Europe. www.lsvp.com
For more information, visit: www.lsvp.com
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