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 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.


(Cindy/Deal Street Asia)