Aug 24, 2021

MDI Ventures, KB Investment hold first close for $150m Centauri Fund

Indonesian venture capital firm MDI Ventures and South Korea’s KB Investment have hit the first close of their joint growth-stage venture fund, a top executive told DealStreetAsia.

Centauri Fund, which launched in December 2019, is seeking to raise $150 million. It is led by general partners Kenneth Li, a managing partner at MDI Singapore, and KB Investment chief executive officer Kim Jong Pil.

Speaking with DealStreetAsia, Li said the fund has held a first close after raising half its target corpus. Investors backing the fund include South Korean sovereign wealth fund Korea Growth Investment Corporation (K-Growth), which pumped in 10 billion Korean won ($8.57 million).

“With the help of K-Growth and our existing investors, Centauri Fund is well-positioned to uplift the local tech ecosystem in exciting areas like fintech, e-commerce, and big data,” Li added.

The investment from K-Growth, a fund-of-funds management firm, will set the stage for a more robust and fluid tech investing corridor between Korea and Southeast Asia’s largest market, Indonesia, said a Centauri statement on Tuesday.

Centauri Fund invests in select companies in fast-growing sectors, such as machine learning and fintech, with a strong potential for scale and expansion. The fund has made four investments so far.

In April 2020, it led a $13.5 million Series A financing round for insurtech platform Qoala. It also backed WEBUY, a Singapore-based social commerce startup, alongside venture capital firm Wavemaker Partners, in October 2020.

More recently, Centauri backed an early-stage investment in Indonesian logistics startup Paxel.co in April 2021. It also participated in a Series C funding round for Indonesian fintech company Cermati, a deal led by MDI Ventures.

“Our fund acts as a working gear in the larger ecosystem. Centauri’s managers can invest as early as the seed stage and participate repeatedly in later rounds, as companies reach growth-stage and beyond,” explained Centauri Fund partner Steven Hong.

The fund also benefits from its ties to two conglomerates – MDI Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of Telkom Indonesia, while KB Investment is part of South Korean financial institution KB Financial Group.

“Hopefully, the collaboration between K-Growth and Centauri Fund can strengthen relations between Indonesia and South Korea, especially in terms of developing the digital economy,” said Fajrin Rasyid, Director of Digital Business at Telkom Group.

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(Cindy/Deal Street Asia)