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BonAngels announces $50 mn fund to invest in Southeast Asia

Released at: 08:18, 27/10/2018

BonAngels announces $50 mn fund to invest in Southeast Asia

Photo: BonAngels

BonAngels launches third fund investing in early-stage startups.

by Do Huong

BonAngels Venture Partners, a South Korean venture capital firm, announced the launch of a $50 million fund for investing in early stage startups in Vietnam, South Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia on October 24.

The fund is called “BonAngels Pacemaker Fund 3” and reflects its philosophy of being a runner’s pacemaker for early stage teams’ journeys.

Following its previous funds, “BonAngels Pacemaker Fund 1” ($22 million) and “BonAngels Pacemaker Fund 2” ($30 million), the new fund is also secured only by successful senior entrepreneurs and corporates with no governmental funds. The new fund will also be managed by the partners, who were all former entrepreneurs with successful exits. With its third fund, the firm reaches total assets under management of $100 million.

“With our new fund, we will deploy more proceeds in South Korea and as much as other emerging markets in Southeast Asia” said Mr. Simon Kang, CEO of BonAngels. The firm is now actively seeking teams and opportunities in Southeast Asia.

The firm has a huge belief in Vietnam and regards it as a priority market for focus. With the new fund, it will be more active in seeking new opportunities in the market. It will be like a “veteran pacemaker” for early stage Vietnamese teams, as South Korea has done for a decade.

Two of the recent investments in Southeast Asia were in a Vietnamese startup called VeXeRe, which serves the largest online express bus reservation platform, closing the round with Spiral Ventures and CyberAgent; and V-Leisure, a Vietnam-based travel and accommodation booking marketplace in Southeast Asia, for pre-series A.

Earlier, the firm’s representative told VET that it has a huge belief in Vietnam’s travel market. There can be no doubt that Vietnamese inbound/outbound travel market is now growing fast and has great potential. As much as it believes in Vietnam, the firm thinks the entire Southeast Asian market will need the same kind of service. Specifically in the travel industry, there must be someone who aggregates and manages all tickets from all different suppliers in various travel sectors with no standard formats, and brings them to companies/agencies in a clean form.

“We hope that V-Leisure will be the right partner to them in that moment,” Mr. Bumkyu Lee from BonAngels told VET at the announcement of the V-Leisure deal. “As an all-in-one reservation platform for all businesses in Southeast Asia, we believe that the V-Leisure team, led by CEO Phan Le, can make its way into the future. They are a humble but visionary team with practical experience. They know how to work with ticket suppliers such as hotels and airlines and have a strong network with numerous master agencies in the travel industry who now do many things in traditional ways.”

Founded in 2006, BonAngels was setup as the first early stage venture capital in South Korea by Mr. BG Chang, Founder of Bluehole (PUBG), Mr. Simon Kang, and Ms. Inae Song. It has accumulatively invested in 140+ teams in South Korea, Japan, the US and Southeast Asia, including more than ten recent investments in Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia in the last 12 years. In most years, the firm has been nominated as the most preferable VC by entrepreneurs in South Korea.

It is well-known as the seed investor of “Woowa Bros”, a unicorn in South Korea and a food tech company operating a delivery platform called “Baedal Minjok”. Other notable investments are “Daily Hotel”, a last-minute hotel booking app invested by Sequoia Capital in 2015, and “Spoon radio”, an internet-radio service that recently raised $17 million in funding from Goodwater Capital, which was an early investor in Musical.ly, as well as Softbank Ventures and KB Investment.

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