E27.CO: Russian venture capital firm Life.SREDA, which e27 exclusively reported is to open its own fin-tech accelerator InspirAsia in Singapore this year, has just shared more juicy goodness: it plans to invest the remaining US$80 million to US$90 million of its second fund into promising fin-tech startups across Asia Pacific over the next six months. Vladislav Solodkiy, the firm’s Managing Partner, said he expects the remainder of the fund to be invested in between 20 to 30 startups at rounds of between US$1 million and US$10 million depending on the stage of the company.
International VCs, especially in the fin-tech space, are increasingly turning to Asia to channel their investments as opportunities are abound. Just yesterday, DBS Bank in Hong Kong announced it is to launch a new fin-tech accelerator later this year in partnership with Nest, one of the city’s existing startup incubators. Startupbootcamp FinTech also just launched its new accelerator in Singapore to tap into the region’s talent.
Hungry for Asia’s fin-tech
“We are very hungry,” Solodkiy told e27. He just returned from a trip to Seoul where he said the banks are very forward thinking in their approach to fin-tech startups and the opportunities around them. The team was also impressed by four startups in Kuala Lumpur that have been working with 1337 Ventures, during their trip to Malaysia earlier this week.
In Hong Kong they saw at least three startups that took their interest in the P2P lending space, and Solodkiy commented on his surprise at the high valuations commanded by Chinese startups, which are now roughly on par with competitors in the US and Europe, versus those in Southeast Asia, which remain lower.
Life.SREDA’s favoured strategy is to lead rounds, but that will not always be possible at larger later-stage rounds. The biggest single ticket the firm would be willing to invest is US$15 million. “We go very fast. That’s typical to our behaviour. For example, I invested in Simple after 10 hours. I got to Portland in early morning and we closed the deal before midnight,” Solodkiy said. Simple is a web and mobile application that unifies various accounts into one accessible bank card that has to date raised over US$15 million.
“We are very fast. You have to be fast… I want to invest every two months in 10 companies [in Asia]. It will provide me 30 companies in six months. That’s my plan,” he said.
Life.SREDA is not the only Russian investment body looking to the region. Earlier this week we reported that Russia’s Skolkovo Foundation and China’s Cybernaut Investment Group inked a deal that will see the creation of a new 1,500-square-metre R&D business incubator, robotics centre and joint US$200 million venture fund.