Indonesia's AC Ventures hits first close of $250m, fifth early-stage fund

(Left to right) Michael Soerijadji, Founder & Managing Partner of AC Ventures, Helen Wong, Managing Partner of ACV, Adrian Li, Founder & Managing Partner of ACV, Pandu Sjahrir, Founding Partner of ACV

Indonesia-focused venture capital firm AC Ventures (ACV) has secured the first close of its $250 million, fifth early-stage fund, according to a statement.

Roughly two-thirds of the target has been raised from institutional investors across markets including Europe, the US, China, South Korea, and Southeast Asia. The fund has already deployed into five seed deals, including in Indonesian credit scoring startup SkorLife, mortgage platform IDEAL, and social job platform Atma.

The latest close brings ACV’s assets under management to over $500 million across five funds. Since 2012, the Indonesian venture firm has invested in more than 100 Southeast Asian tech startups, including prominent names like Xendit, Carsome, Stockbit, Ula, Shipper, and Aruna.

DealStreetAsia had reported in July that AC Ventures is targeting $250 million for its early-stage Fund IV and a separate $250 million for a new ‘select fund’ to double down on growth-stage winners from its portfolio.

The firm last closed its oversubscribed Fund III at $205 million in December 2021. Some of its limited partners (LPs) included the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Disrupt AD, the venture platform of Abu Dhabi Developmental Holdings (ADQ).

ACV has also steadily strengthened its leadership to support the rapid growth of its portfolio.

Former Qiming partner Helen Wong was appointed as ACV’s managing partner in February this year, leading alongside Adrian Li, Michael Soerijadji and Pandu Sjahrir.

Lauren Blasco, previously director of sustainability at Potato Head Group, has also joined as principal and head of ESG at ACV. This follows ACV’s recent appointment of Alan Hellawell as senior advisor and venture partner in June.

“LPs want to see the depth of the talent base that you’re building within the fund — getting exceptional people to come onboard, and cultivating people internally to rise through the ranks,” said ACV’s managing partner Adrian Li in an interview with DealStreetAsia.

ACV also plans to build a “value creation” team staffed with specialists who will assist portfolio firms with recruitment, business development, regulatory compliance, finance and growth. Li described it as a “SWAT team” that will work closely with founders to add strategic value as they scale.

“These are things that VCs with large local teams like us can offer, as opposed to global ones, particularly in areas like business development, connecting with top conglomerates, regulatory officials, and getting licences. These are local value-adds that can really play to our strengths,” said Helen Wong, managing partner at ACV. 

ACV currently has a 35-member team across offices in Jakarta, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

Edited excerpts of an interview with Li and Wong.

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