Withers KhattarWong LLP, the Singapore office of international law firm Withers, recently represented Singapore-based venture capital firms Alto Partners and Altara Ventures.
The firm represented Alto Partners in the launch of its venture capital fund, Forge Ventures, in partnership with venture partners Tiang Lim Foo and Kaspar Hidayat. The team was led by Singapore-based Corporate and Funds Partner Daniel Yong, with the support of Partner and Co-Head of Withers tech in Asia Joel Shen and associate Tung Teck Huat.
Structured as an umbrella variable capital company, Forge Ventures raised US$21.9 million at first closing, surpassing its initial fundraising target of US$15 million to US$20 million.
Investors in the fund comprise of founders and operators at notable tech firms, including Airbnb, Carousell, Fabelio, Facebook, Funding Societies, GajiGesa, Grab, Kopi Kenangan, Qoala, and Stripe. The fund is targeting investments in a "concentrated portfolio" of 15 companies over the next three years, with a focus on Singapore and Indonesia and the edtech and fintech sectors in particular. To date, the fund has already led investments in three start-ups in Southeast Asia.
Withers KhattarWong also represented Altara Ventures in closing fundraising rounds in two Southeast Asian technology start-ups. The team was also led by Daniel Yong, with the support of associates Tung Teck Huat and Wee Jin-Wen.
Altara Ventures led a US$4 million Series A2 fundraising round for a Malaysia-based Insurtech start-up regulated by Bank Negara Malaysia. The funds raised will be allocated towards sales, marketing, talent acquisition, product development and business development initiatives.
The firm also led a US$2.5 million Pre-Series A fundraising round for Clevai Pte. Ltd., a fast-growing Vietnam-based edtech which has developed an AI-enabled tutoring platform. This fundraising round included participation from existing investors including FEBE Ventures and FJ Labs Funds. The funds raised will be deployed to accelerate the expansion of Clevai's product and services offerings.
Altara Ventures is a Singapore-based VC firm founded by well-known businessman Koh Boon Hwee (former chairman of DBS Group and Singtel) together with Tan Chow Boon and Seow Kiat Wang. The Altara team was recently strengthened with the addition of Dave Ng, former head of Eight Roads Ventures for Southeast Asia (the investment arm of Fidelity International), and Gavin Teo, former general partner at B Capital.
The two deals follow on the back of an earlier US$5 million Series A fundraising round for Indonesian-based start-up Sampingan Pte. Ltd., that the team also acted on in early 2021.
Daniel Yong comments: "Our partnerships with Alto Partners, Forge Ventures and Altara Ventures highlight the strength of our Withers tech practice in Asia and our commitment to provide the full range of fund structuring and downstream investment advice in an increasingly vibrant tech and venture capital scene."